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" The Caracas Cocoa of such choice quality."— From 
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H. W. LONGFELLOW. 
(From the. Philadelphia Press, March 2, 1877.) 
On TueBday last, the 27th February, the poet 
Longfellow reached the " three score years and ten' 
epoch in his mortal life. Several tributes in 
and Terse have attempted to honour the oc- 
). We here present one, not exactly a birth- 
day compliment, but a general and generous tribute 
to the genius of our great poet. It is one of 
tost recent productions of Lady Wilde, of 
Dublin, whose earliest poetry, over the signature of 
" Speranz»," was a most attractive and popular 
mature in the golden prime of the Nation, the 
best journal of patriotism and politics, literature 
and art, ever published in Ireland. Of the fol- 
lowing poem we need say no more than that it is 
worthy of the theme :— 

AVE CAESAR. 
Inscribed to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 



O Poet King ! whose word 
" ' igingto distant unions 
■• 'thought, 

to thee 
King of Minstre 
We of the half developed souls, w 



rtal as the God whose breath they are. 
Still sounds above the turbid waves of strife 
olemn beauty of thy " Psalm of Life ;" 
Still through the thunders' crash and torrents' roar 
Hie ,-ilvcr clarion of " Excelsior" 
Floats like an angel's voice above the din 
Of human passion, doubt, and fear, and sin, 

I'd the -r.-.mi stillness of God's mountain height. 
Like winged seeds thy thoughts have taken root 
In human hearts and borne immortal fruit— 
A Guide n Legend, haunting lands and seas. 
With holy, tender, Christ like memories. 
" ' Df joys and tears ! life's deepest chords 
trembled to the music of thy words, 
is the murmurs of the forest glade 
Where Hiawatha wood the Indian maid ; 
. ..id oli ! how sweetly sad that tale of love 
Our falling tears upon thr page will prove, 

e, in thy cadenced verse, the Sachem's daughti 
gh dead, yet ever lives—" The Laughing Watei 
While the deep story of a human soul 
Seeking its lost ideal till the goal 
At Last is reached, when Death has rent the screen, 
i i nU us great type in thy " Evangeline." 
What needs in these faint echoes to rehearse 
The stately beauty of thy later verse ; 
Now soft as Lydian melodies that float 
Hound fair young l.r.m , eiiwn -r !v:al with melilote ; 
Now sli.a.g as mu-ic by the Viking's oar 
( h aving the wild waves by the Northern shore, 

Of flowers and forest leaves and holv chimes, 
lit all that isdivinest in the strife " 

HI,.,; . . hv .si . ' ■ I ■■! . I. 

Of human grief, oi « hioh thou'* felt the smart 



that is holiest thy song has reached ; 

that is loveliest thy verse has preached ; 

rom a chalice of the Sacred Blood 

■ pure soul poured its strong, life-giving flood 

vords that flashed on Europe's farthest shores, 



As to a Poet, Prophet. Priest, and King, 
I :i, fraukr.nx-iis.-.l' joyful thanksgiving. 
I.'ise, thro, irr.ui Ho arena, lake the crown 
The nations offer thee of proud renown ; 
Wear it, < I Warnoi tor rh. i'rue and Hi^ht ! 
For thou has won it in a glorious light 
ceforth thy c 



Thy glory is thy country's, but thy words 
Are the world's heritage— immortal chords 
That vibrate ever as the ages roll, 



POEMS 



BY 



SPERANZA 



(LADY WILDE). 



DUBLIN: 

JAMES DUFFY, 15, WELLINGTON- QUAY 

AND 

22, PATERNOSTER-ROW, LONDON. 
1864. 



DUBLIN: 

prtnifh bn $. gt. <D'£ooic anb Son, 

6 AND 7. <5T. BRUNSWICK ST. 



TO 



MY SONS 



WILLIE AND OSCAR WILDE. 



"I MADE THEM INDEED, 

Speak plain the word COUNTRY. I taught them, no doubt, 
That a Country's a thing men should die foe at need!" 



fiy Wilde's (Lady) Poems, first edi- 
tion, post 8vo, cloth, scarce, 4s 6d 

Dtiblin, 1864 



CONTENTS, 



THE BROTHERS 1 

THE FAMINE YEAR 5 

THE ENIGMA. 8 

THE VOICE OF THE POOR 11 

A SUPPLICATION 14 

FORESHADOWINGS . .16 

TO A DESPONDENT NATIONALIST .20 

SIGNS OF THE TIMES 22 

THE OLD MAN'S BLESSING 25 

MAN'S MISSION. .- , '27 

A LAMENT 30 

THE YOUNG PATRIOT LEADER. 32 

ATTENDITE POPULE ^ . .34 

FORWARD! . . 35 

HAVE YE COUNTED THE COST? 39 

THE YEAR OF REVOLUTIONS 42 

RUINS. . 45 

DISCIPLINE 52 

THE EXODUS. g 55 

THE FAITHLESS SHEPHERDS 53 

WORK WHILE IT IS CALLED TO-DAY. (52 

WHO WILL SHOW US ANY GOOD? 65 

TO-DAY. . . . .70 

A REMONSTRANCE 7* 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

FRANCE IN '93 ' 75 

THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS .78 

A LAMENT FOR THE POTATO 83 

ASPIRATIONS .85 

THE PARABLE OF LIFE 89 

V ANITAS ! -97 

FATALITY 99 

DESTINY. . . . 100 

MEMORY. . • 1 03 

CORINNE'S LAST LOVE-SONG, 104 

THE DYING CHRISTIAN 105 

SYMPATHIES WITH THE UNIVERSAL 107 

LA VIA DOLOROSA. 109 

SHADOWS FROM LIFE HI 

WANDERINGS THROUGH EUROPEAN LITERATURE : 

LE reveille. 120 

OUR FATHERLAND 122 

THE KNIGHT'S PLEDGE 124 

OPPORTUNITY. 125 

KING ERICK'S FAITH 127 

"FOR NORGE!" 130 

THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST * 132 

SALVATION. . . . j 137 

WHY WEEPEST THOU? -139 

MISERY IS MYSTERY 140 

FAREWELL! 141 

CATARINA. . . 142 

THE POET AT COURT 143 

THE MYSTIC TREE 145 

'TIS NOT UPON EARTH 147 

THE ITINERANT SINGING GIRL. 148 

IGNEZ DE CASTRO. . , . . 149 



CONTENTS. vii 

PAGE 

THE WAIWODE . .153 

SULEIMA TO HER LOVER. 156 

THE COMPARISON. . . 157 

BUDRIS AND HIS SONS 159 

THE LADY BEATRIZ. 162 

A LA SOMBRA DE MIS CABELLOS .164 

A SERVIAN SONG . . .166 

CONSTANCY. 168 

INSTABILITY. . . .' . . . . 169 

A WARNING. 170 

CASSANDRA. 173 

UNDINE. 179 

THE PAST 184 

THE FISHERMAN 186 

THE IDEAL 188 

THE EXILE '193 

THE FATE OF THE LYRIST 194 

THE POET'S DESTINY '195 

DEATH WISHES 196 

DISILLUSION. . . .198 

HYMN TO THE CROSS. . . 199 

JESUS TO THE SOUL 201 

TRISTAN AND ISOLDE * . . .203 

THEKLA: A SWEDISH SAGA 206 

PART I.— THE TEMPTATION 206 

n IL-THE SIN 209 

IIL— THE BRIDAL. 212 

IV. — THE PUNISHMENT 214 

V.— THE EXPIATION 223 

„ VI.-GOD'S JUSTICE 226 

„ VI I.— GOD'S MERCY. 23Q 



POEMS 



THE BROTHERS. 

A SCENE FROM '98. 



" Oh ! give me truths, 

For I am weary of the surfaces, 
And die of inanition."— Emekson. 



I. 

'Tis midnight, falls the lamp-light dull and sickly 

On a pale and anxious crowd, 
Through the court, and round the judges, thronging 
thickly, 

With prayers, they dare not speak aloud. 
Two youths, two noble youths, stand prisoners at the bar — 

You can see them through the gloom — 
In the pride of life and manhood's beauty, there they are 

Awaiting their death doom. 



ii. 

All eyes an earnest watch on them are keeping, 

Some, sobbing, turn away, 
And the strongest men can hardly see for weeping, 

So noble and so loved were they. 



2 



THE BROTHERS. 



Their hands are locked together, those young brothers, 

As before the judge they stand — 
They feel not the deep grief that moves the others, 

For, they die fou Fatherland. 

ill. 

They are pale, but it is not fear that whitens 

On each proud, high brow, 
For the triumph of the martyr's glory brightens 

Around them even now. 
They sought to free their land from thrall of stranger; 

Was it treason? Let them die; 
But their blood will cry to Heaven — the Avenger 

Yet will hearken from on high. 

IV. 

Before them, shrinking, cowering, scarcely human, 

The base Informer bends, 
Who, Judas-like, could sell the blood of true men, 

While he clasped their hand as friends. 
Aye, could fondle the young children of his victim — 

Break bread with his young wife, 
At the moment that for gold his perjured dictum 

Sold the husband and the fathers life. 

v. 

There is silence in the midnight — eyes are keeping 
Troubled watch till forth the jury come; 

There is silence in the midnight — eyes are weeping — 
Guilty! — is the fatal uttered doom. 



THE BROTHERS. 



3 



For a moment, o'er the brothers' noble faces, 

Came a shadow sad to see ; 
Then, silently, they rose up in their places, 

And embraced each other fervently. 



Oh ! the rudest heart might tremble at such sorrow, 

The rudest cheek might blanch at such a scene : 
Twice the judge essayed to speak the word — to-morrow — 

Twice faltered, as a woman he had been. 
To-morrow! — Fain the elder would have spoken, 

Prayed for respite, tho' it is not Death he fears ; 
But, thoughts of home and wife his heart hath broken, 

And his w r ords are stopped by tears 

VII. 

But the youngest — oh, he spake out bold and clearly: — 

I have no ties of children or of wife ; 
Let me die — but spare the brother who more dearly 

Is loved by me than life. — 
Pale martyrs, ye may cease, your days are numbered ; 

Next noon your sun of life goes down ; 
One day between the sentence and the scaffold — 

One day between the torture and the crown ! 



VIII. 

A hymn of joy is rising from creation; 

Bright the azure of the glorious summer sky ; 
But human hearts weep sore in lamentation, 

For the Brothers are led forth to die. 



4 



THE BROTHERS. 



Aye, guard them with your cannon and your lances — 

So of old came martyrs to the stake; 
Aye, guard them — see the people's flashing glances, 

For those noble two are dying for their sake. 

IX. 

Yet none spring forth their bonds to sever; 

Ah ! methinks, had I been there, 
I'd have dared a thousand deaths ere ever 

The sword should touch their hair. 
It falls ! — there is a shriek of lamentation 

From the weeping crowd around ; 
They're stilled — the noblest hearts within the nation — 

The noblest heads lie bleeding on the ground. 

x. 

Years have passed since that fatal scene of dying, 

Yet, lifelike to this day, 
In their coffins still those severed heads are lying, 

Kept by angels from decay. 
Oh ! they preach to us, those still and pallid features — 

Those pale lips yet implore us, from their graves, 
To strive for our birthright as God's creatures, 

Or die, if we can but live as slaves. 



THE FAMINE YEAK. 



5 



THE FAMINE YEAR. 



i. 

Weary men, what reap ye? — Golden corn for the stranger. 
What sow ye? — Human corses that wait for the avenger. 
Fainting forms, hunger-stricken, what see you in the 
offing ? 

Stately ships to bear our food away, amid the stranger's 
scoffing. 

There's a proud array of soldiers — what do they round 
your door? 

They guard our masters' granaries from the thin hands 
of the poor. 

Pale mothers, wherefore weeping? — Would to God that 

we were dead — 
Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them 

bread. 

ii. 

Little children, tears are strange upon your infant faces, 
God meant you but to smile within your mother's soft 
embraces. 

Oh ! we know not what is smiling, and we know not what 
is dying; 

But we're hungry, very hungry, and we cannot stop our 
crying. 



6 THE FAMINE YEAR. 

And some of us grow cold and white — we know not what 
it means; 

But, as they lie beside us, we tremble in our dreams. 
There's a gaunt crowd on the highway — are ye come to 
pray to man, 

With hollow eyes that cannot weep, and for words your 

faces wan ? 

in. 

No ; the blood is dead within our veins — we care not now 
for life; 

Let us die hid in the ditches, far from children and from 
wife ; 

We cannot stay and listen to their raving, famished cries- 
Bread ! Bread ! Bread ! and none to still their agonies. 
We left our infants playing with their dead mother's 
hand : 

We left our maidens maddened by the fever's scorching 
brand : 

Better, maiden, thou were strangled in thy own dark- 
twisted tresses — 

Better, infant, thou w r ert smothered in thy mother's first 
caresses. 

IV. 

We are fainting in our misery, but God w r ill hear our 

groan ; 

Yet, if fellow-men desert us, will He hearken from His 
Throne ? 

Accursed are we in our own land, yet toil we still and toil ; 
But the stranger reaps our harvest — the alien owns our soil. 



THE FAMINE YEAR. 



7 



O Christ ! how have we sinned, that on our native plains 
We perish houseless, naked, starved, with branded brow, 
like Cain's? 

Dying, dying wearily, with a torture sure and slow — 
Dying, as a dog would die, by the wayside as we go. 

v. 

One by one they're falling round us, their pale faces to 
the sky; 

WeVe no strength left to dig them graves — there let 
them lie. 

The wild bird, if he's stricken, is mourned by the others, 
But we — we die in Christian land — we die amid our 
brothers, 

In theland which God has given, like a wild beast in his cave, 
Without a tear, a prayer, a shroud, a coffin, or a grave. 
Ha ! but think ye the contortions on each livid face ye see, 
Will not be read on judgment-day by eyes of Deity? 

VI. 

We are w r retches, famished, scorned, human tools to build 
your pride, 

But God will yet take vengeance for the souls for whom 
Christ died. 

Now is your hour of pleasure — bask ye in the world's caress ; 
But our whitening bones against ye will arise as witnesses, 
From the cabins and the ditches, in their charred, uncoffin'd 
masses, 

For the Angel of the Trumpet will know them as he passes. 
A ghastly, spectral army, before the great God we'll stand, 
And arraign ye as our murderers, the spoilers of our land. 



8 



THE ENIGMA. 



THE ENIGMA. 



Pale victims, where is your Fatherland? 
Where oppression is law from age to age, 
Where the death-plague, and hunger, and misery 
rage, 

And tyrants a godless warfare wage 

'Gainst the holiest rights of an ancient land. 

Where the corn waves green on the fair hillside, 
But, each sheaf by the serfs and slavelings tied, 
Is taken to pamper a foreigner's pride — 
There is our suffering Fatherland. 

Where broad rivers flow 'neath a glorious sky, 
And the valleys like gems of emerald lie; 
Yet, the young men, and strong men, starve and 
die, 

For want of bread in their own rich land. 

And we pile up their corses, heap on heap, 

While the pale mothers faint, and the children 

weep ; 

Yet, the living might envy the dead their sleep, 
So bitter is life in that mourning land. 



THE ENIGMA. 



9 



Oh ! Heaven ne'er looked on a sadder scene; 
Earth shuddered to hear that such woe had been ; 
Then we prayed, in despair, to a foreign Queen, 
For leave to live in our own fair land. 

We have wept till our faces are pale and wan ; 
We have knelt to a throne till our strength is gone; 
We prayed to our masters, but, one by one, 
They laughed to scorn our suffering land ; 

And sent forth their minions, with cannon and steel, 
Swearing with fierce, unholy zeal, 
To trample us down with an iron heel, 

If we dared but to murmur our just demand. — 

Know ye not now our Fatherland? 

What ! are there no men in your Fatherland, 
To confront the tyrant's stormy glare, 
With a scorn as deep as the wrongs ye bear, 
With defiance as fierce as the oaths they sware, 
With vengeance as wild as the cries of despair, 

That rise from your suffering Fatherland ? 

Are there no swords in your Fatherland, 
To smite down the proud, insulting foe, 
With the strength of despair give blow for blow, 
Till the blood of the baffled murderers flow 

On the trampled soil of your outraged land? 

Are your right arms weak in that land of slaves, 
That ye stand by your murdered brothers' graves, 
Yet tremble like coward and crouching knaves, 

To strike for Freedom and Fatherland? 



10 



THE ENIGMA. 



Oh ! had ye faith in your Fatherland, 
In God, your Cause, and your own Right hand, 
Ye would go forth as saints to the holy fight, 
Go in the strength of Eternal right, 
Go in the conquering Godhead's might — 
And save or avenge your Fatherland ! 



THE VOICE OF THE POOR. 



THE VOICE OF THE POOR. 



L 

Was sorrow ever like to our sorrow? 

Oh, God above ! 
Will our night never change into a morrow 

Of joy and love? 
A deadly gloom is on us waking, sleeping, 

Like the darkness at noontide, 
That fell upon the pallid mother, weeping 

By the Crucified. 

ii. 

Before us die our brothers of starvation : 

Around are cries of famine and despair ! 
Where is hope for us, or comfort, or salvation — 

Where — oh ! where ? 
If the angels ever hearken, downward bending, 

They are weeping, we are sure, 
At the litanies of human groans ascending 

From the crushed hearts of the poor. 

in. 

When the human rests in love upon the human, 

All grief is light ; 
But who bends one kind glance to illumine 

Our life-loner night? 



THE VOICE OF THE POOR. 



The air around is ringing with their laughter — 
God has only made the rich to smile ; 

But Ave — in our rags, and want, and woe — we follow 
after, 
Weeping the while. 

IV. 

And the laughter seems but uttered to deride us. 

When — oh ! w r hen 
Will fall the frozen barriers that divide us 

From other men ? 
Will ignorance for ever thus enslave us? 

Will misery for ever lay us low? 
All are eager with their insults, but to save us, 

None, none, we know. 

v. 

We never knew r a childhood's mirth and gladness, 

Nor the proud heart of youth, free and brave; 
Oh ! a deathlike dream of wretchedness and sadness, 

Is life's weary journey to the grave. 
Day by day we lower sink and lower, 

Till the Godlike soul within, 
Falls crushed, beneath the fearful demon power 

Of poverty and sin. 

VI. 

So we toil on, on with fever burning 

In heart and brain ; 
So we toil on, on through bitter scorning, 

Want, woe, and pain : 



THE VOICE OF THE POOR. 

We d aren ot raise_o ur eyes to the blue Heaven, 

Or the jgUjDij^Lce Ase— 
We dare not breathe the fresh air God has given 

One hour in peace. 

VII. 

We must toil, though the light of life is burning, 

Oh, how dim ! 
We must toil on our sick bed, feebly turning 

Our eyes to Him, 
Who alone can hear the pale lip faintly saying, 

With scarce moved breath, 
While the paler hands, uplifted, aid the praying, 

" Lord, grant us Death!" 



A SUPPLICATION. 



A SUPPLICATION. 



u DE PROFUNPIS CLAMAVI AD TE DOMIXE." 



By our looks of mute despair, 
By the sighs that rend the air, 
From lips too faint to utter prayer, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

By the last groans of our dying, 
Echoed bv the cold wind's sighing, 
On the wayside as they're lying, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

By our fever-stricken bands, 
Lifting up their wasted hands, 
For bread throughout the far-off lands, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

Miserable outcasts we, 

Pariahs of humanity, 

Shunned by all where'er we flee, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

For our dead no bell is ringing, 

Round their forms no shroud is clinging, 

Save the rank grass newly springing, 

Kvrie Eleison. 

Golden harvests we are reaping, 
With golden grain our barns heaping, 
But for us our bread is weeping, 

Kyrie Eleison. 



A SUPPLICATION. 



Death-devoted in our home, 
Sad we cross the salt sea's foam, 
But death we bring where'er we roam, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

Whereso'er our steps are led, 
They can track us by our dead, 
Lving on their cold earth bed, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

We have sinned — in vain each warning — 
Brother lived his brother scorning, 
Now in ashes see us mourning, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

Heeding not our country's state, 
Trodden down and desolate, 
While we strove in senseless hate, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

We have sinned, but holier zeal 
May we Christian patriots feel, 
Oh ! for our dear country's weal, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

Let us lift our streaming eyes 
To God's throne above the skies, 
He will hear our anguish cries, 

Kyrie Eleison. 

Kneel beside me, oh ! my brother, 
Let us pray each with the other, 
For Ireland, our mourning mother, 

Kyrie Eleison. 



16 



FORESHADOWINGS. 



i 

FORESHADOWINGS. 



i. 

Oremus! Oremas! Look down on us, Father! 
Like visions of Patmos Thy last judgments gather; 
The angels of doom, in bright, terrible beauty, 
Rise up from their thrones to fulfil their stern duty. 
Woe to us, woe ! the thunders have spoken, 
The first of the mystical seals hath been broken. 

ii. 

Through the cleft thunder-cloud the weird coursers are 
rushing — 

Their hoofs will strike deep in the hearts they are crushing ; 
And the crown'd and the proud of the old kingly races 
Fall down at the vision, like stars from their places: 
Oremus! Oremus! The pale earth is heark'ning; 
Already the spirit-steeds round us are dark'ning. 

in. 

With crown and with bow, on his white steed immortal, 
The Angel of Wrath passes first through the portal ; 
But faces grow paler, and hush'd is earths laughter, 
When on his pale steed comes the Plague Spirit after. 
Oremus! Oremus! His poison breath slayeth; 
The red will soon fade from each bright lip that prayeth. 



FORESHADO WINGS. 



17 



IV. 

Now, with nostrils dilated and thunder hoofs crashing, 
On rushes the war-steed, his lurid eyes flashing; 
There is blood on the track where his long mane is 
streaming, 

There is death where the sword of his rider is gleaming. 
Woe to the lands where that red steed is flying! 
There tyrants are warring, and heroes are dying. 

v. 

Oh ! the golden-hair'd children reck nought but their 
playing, 

Thro' the rich fields of corn with their young mothers 
straying; 

And the strong-hearted men, with their muscles of iron, 
What reck they of ills that their pathway environ? 
There's a tramp like a knell — a cold shadow gloometh — 
Woe ! 'tis the black steed of Famine that cometh. 

VI. 

At the breath of its rider the green earth is blasted, 
And childhood's frail form droops down pallid, and wasted ; 
The soft sunny hair falleth dank on the arm 
Of the mother, whose love shields no longer from harm : 
For strength is scarce left her to weep o'er the dying, 
Ere dead by the loved one the mother is lying. 

VII. 

But can we only weep, when above us thus lour 
The death-bearing wings of the angels of power; 

c 



18 



FORESHADOWINGS. 



When around are the arrows of pestilence flying — 
Around, the pale heaps of the famine-struck lying? 
No, brother of sorrow, when life's light is weakest, 
Look up, it is nigh the redemption thou seekest. 

VIII. 

Still work, though the tramp of the weird spirit-horses, 
Fall dull on the ear, like the clay upon corses ; 
Still Freedom must send forth her young heroes glowing, 
Though her standard be red with their life-current flow- 
ing; 

Still the Preacher must cast forth the seed, as God's 
sower, 

Though he perish like grass at the scythe of the mower. 

IX. 

Still do the Lord's work through life's tragical drama, 
Though w r eeping goes upward like weeping at Rama; 
The path may be thorny, but Spirit eyes see us ; 
The cross may be heavy, but Death will soon free us : 
Still, strong in Christ's power we'll chant the Hosanna, 
Fling down Christ's defiance — Y7ra^e ^mava \ 

x 

I see in a vision the shadowy portal, 

That leadeth to regions of glory immortal ; 

I see the pale forms from the seven wounds bleeding, 

Which up to God's Throne the bright angels are leading; 

I see the crown placed on each saint bending lowly, 

While sounds the Trisagion — Holy, thrice Holy ! 



FORESHADOWINGS. 



19 



XI. 

I have Paradise dreams of a band with palm-branches, 
Whose wavings give back their gold harps' resonances, 
And a jewelled- walled city, where walketh in splendour 
Each one who his life for God's truth did surrender. 
Who would weep their death-doom, if such bliss we in- 
herit, 

When the veil of the human falls off from the spirit? 

XII. 

The Christian may shrink from the last scenes of trial, 
And the woes yet unknown of each mystical vial; 
But the hosts of Jehovah will gather beside him, 
The rainbow-crowned angel stoop downward to guide 
him ; 

And to him, who as hero and martyr hath striven, 
Will the Crown, and the Throne, and the Palm-branch be 
given. 



20 



TO A DESPONDENT NATIONALIST. 



TO A DESPONDENT NATIONALIST. 



i. 

Wherefore wail you for the harp? Is it broken? 

Have the bold hands that once struck it weaker grown ? 
Can false words, by falser traitors spoken, 

Blight a cause which we know is God's own? 
No cow r ard hearts are with us that would falter, 

Tho' a thousand tyrants strove to crush us low; 
No coward pen the daring words to alter, 

That we fling in haughty scorn 'gainst the foe. 

ii. 

Who has doomed, or can dare " doom us to silence"? 

In the conscious pride of truth and right we stand ; 
Let them rave like the ocean round the islands, 

Firm as they we stand unmoved for Fatherland. 
Ay, we'll " till," spite of banded foes who hate us — 

But to rear the tree of Freedom God hath given ; 
Ay, we'll toil — but for triumphs that await us, 

If not leading to the Capitol — to Heaven. 

in. 

Shall we mourn if we're martyrs for the truth? 

God has ever tried His noblest by the cross — 
Let us bless Him that we're worthy in our youth, 

For Country, truth, and right to suffer loss. 



TO A DESPONDENT NATIONALIST. 



21 



So the word that we have spoken be immortal, 
Little wreck Ave tho' no glory may be won ; 

If of God, it will scorn ban of mortal — 
Standing ever as the archetypal sun. 

IV. 

True, the path is dark, but ever sunward, 

In faith, and love, and hope we journey on; 
We may pause in the desert passing onward, 

Lay our weary heads to rest upon the stone ; 
But ever in our visions, low and faintly, 

Come the voices of the far-off angel band, 
To earnest souls, in prophecy all saintly, 

That the good cause will yet triumph in the land. 

v 

Fear not, oh ! my brother, then, that any 

Will hush Ierne's harp at man's command; 
For phylacteries of misery too many, 

Are bound upon all foreheads in the land. 
Let others bow in abject genuflexion — 

Sue from Pity what they ought to claim as right ; 
By God's grace we'll stand by our election — 

Freedom, Knowledge, Independence, Truth, and Light ! 



22 



SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 



SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 



When mighty passions, surging, heave the depth of life's 
great ocean — 

When the people sway, like forest trees, to and fro in 

wild commotion — 
When the world-old kingdoms, rent and riven, quiver in 

their place, 

As the human central fire is upheaving at their base, 
And throbbing hearts, and flashing eyes, speak a language 

deep and cryptic ; 
Yet he who runs may read aright these signs apocalyptic : 
Then rise, ye crowned Elohim* — rise trembling from your 

thrones ; 

Soon shall cease the eternal rhythm betwixt them and 
human groans. 

ii. 

Ah ! ye thought the nations, faint and weary, lay for ever bound; 
They were sleeping like Orestes, with the Furies watching 
round ; 

Soon they'll spring to vengeance, maddened by the whis- 
perings divine, 

That breathed of human freedom, as they knelt before 
God's shrine. 

* 4 4 Kings— The Earthly Elohim."— Sm Thomas Browne. 



SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 



23 



See you not a form advancing, as the shadow of the Gnomon, 
Step by step, in darkness, onward — can ye read the fatal 
omen? 

Coarse the hand, and rude the raiment, and the brow is 
dark to see, 

But flashes fierce the eye as those of vengeful Zincali. 

in. 

On its brow a name is written — France read it once before, 
And like a demon's compact, it was written in her gore — 
A fearful name — thrones trembled as the murmur passed 
along — 

Retribution, proud oppressors, for your centuries of 
wrong. 

From the orient to the ocean, from the palm-tree to the pine, 
From Innisfail, by Tagus, to the lordly Appenine — 
From Indus to the river by which pale Warsaw bleeds — 
Souls are wakening — hands are arming — God is blessing 
noble deeds. 

IV. 

Bravely done, ye Roman Eagles, ye are fluttering at last ; 
Spread your broad wings brave and proudly, as in old 

time, to the blast ; 
Never furl them — never flag, till with the Austrian's 

slaughter, 

Ye crimson the full tide of the Danube's rolling water. 
Who will falter now? Who'll stand like a trembling 

coward dumb? 
Plaudite! Freedom stands again on the Janiculum ! 
From the Tiber to the Adige her vatic words are waking, 
Italy ! fair Italy ! arise, the dawn is breaking ! 



24 



SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 



V. 

The Russian breathed on Poland, and she changed to a 
Zahara ; 

The jewels of her ancient crown adorn the Czar's tiara. 
Her princes, and her nobles, tread the land with footsteps 
weary, 

And her people cry to Heaven with a ceaseless Miserere. 
On her pale brow, thorn-crowned, ye may read her shame 
and loss; 

See, foreign rule has branded there the fatal Tha?iatos. 
But her agony and bloody sweat the Lord from Heaven 
will see, 

And a resurrection morn heal the wounds of Calvary. 

VI. 

By our prophets God is speaking, in Sinai's awful thun- 
ders, 

By pestilence and famine, in fearful signs and wonders; 
By our great poet-priesthood, the sacred race immortal, 
Whose words go forth triumphant, as through a golden 
portal ; 

By our patriots and martyrs, who, for Freedom's holy 
law, 

Have hearts to dare, a hand to burn, like Mutius Scaevola. 
Then, courage, Brothers ! lock your shields, like the old 
Spartan band, 

Advance ! and be your watchword ever — God for Ireland ! 



THE OLD MAN'S BLESSING. 



THE OLD MAN'S BLESSING. 



Mine eye is dull, my hair is white, 

This arm is powerless for the fight; 

Alas ! alas ! the battle's van 

Suits not a weak and aged man. 

Thine eye is bright, thine arm is strong — 

Tis Youth must right our country's wrong. 

Arise, my son, and proudly bear 

This sword that I was wont to wear ; 

Firm grasp the hilt, fling down the sheath — 

A thousand years their wrongs bequeath 

To thy young heart, thy hot revenge — 

Kneel down, and swear thou wilt avenge. 

May thy hand be fierce as Ate's, 
Fighting for our old Penates ; 
May thy glance be lightning flashes, 
May thy words be thunder crashes, 
May that earnest, haughty frown, 
Like weapon, strike the foeman down. 
May thy smile of scorn be 
Blasting as the Upas tree; 
Boldly, like Olympian God, 
Hurl the tyrants from our sod, 
Let their wail be Ichabod ! 



THE OLD MAN'S BLESSING. 



Be to them destruction glooming — 
Be to them a vengeance looming, 
Hair-suspencled, o'er their race, 
Like the sword of Damocles. 
Let thy daring right hand free us, 
Like that son of old iEgeus, 
Who purged his land for evermore 
From the blood-stained Minotaur. 
Fear not death, but fear dishonour; 
Yield thy country all but honour. 
What more fitting warrior's shroud 
Than the foeman's standard proud? 
Heed ye not their glozing words ; 
Fear ye not their myriad swords ; 
Never make ye peace with them 
'Till ye chant their requiem. 
Ha ! I hear thy heart's pulsation 
Throbbing vengeance for our nation; 
Ha ! I see thy dark eyes shine 
With a fury leonine — 
Burning brow and clenched hand — 
Quivering lip and naked brand — 
Arise ! arise ! my patriot son, 
By hearts like thine is Freedom won ! 



MAN'S MISSION. 



27 



MAN'S MISSION. 



i. 

Human lives are silent teaching, 

Be they earnest, mild, and true — 
Noble deeds are noblest preaching 

From the consecrated Few. 
Poet-Priests their anthems singing, 
Hero-sword on corslet ringing, 

When Truth's banner is unfurled ; 
Youthful preachers, genius-gifted, 
Pouring forth their souls uplifted, 

Till their preaching stirs the world ; 

n. 

Each must work as God has given 

Hero hand or poet soul ; 
Work is duty while we live in 

This weird world of sin and dole. 
Gentle spirits, lowly kneeling, 
Lift their white hands up appealing 

To the Throne of Heaven's King — 
Stronger natures, culminating, 
In great actions incarnating 

What another can but sing. 



MAN'S MISSION. 



III. 

Pure and meek-eyed as an angel, 

We must strive — must agonise ; 
We must preach the saints' evangel 

Ere we claim the saintly prize. 
Work for all, for work is holy, 
We fulfil our mission solely 

When, like Heavens arch above, 
Blend our souls in one emblazon, 
And the social diapason 

Sounds the perfect chord of love. 

IV. 

Life is combat, life is striving, 

Such our destiny below ; 
Like a scythed chariot driving 

Through an onward pressing foe. 
Deepest sorrow, scorn, and trial 
Will but teach us self-denial ; 

Like the alchymists of old, 
Pass the ore through cleansing fire 
If our spirits would aspire 

To be God's refined gold. 

v. 

We are struggling in the morning 
With the spirit of the night; 

But we trample on it scorning — 
Lo ! the eastern sky is bright. 



MAN'S MISSION. 



We must watch. The day is breaking 
Soon, like Memnon's statue waking 

With the sunrise into sound, 
We shall raise our voice to Heaven, 
Chant a hymn for conquest given, 

Seize the palm, nor heed the wound. 



We must bend our thoughts to earnest, 

Would we strike the idols down ; 
With a purpose of the sternest 

Take the Cross, and wait the Crown. 
Sufferings human life can hallow, 
Sufferings lead to Gods Valhalla ; 

Meekly bear, but nobly try, 
Like a man with soft tears flowing, 
Like a God with conquest glowing, 

So to love, and work, and die ! 



30 



A LAMENT. 



A LAMENT. 



i. 

Gone from us — dead to us — he whom we worshipped 

so ! 

Low lies the altar we raised to his name ; 
Madly his own hand hath shattered and laid it low — 

Madly his own breath hath blasted his fame. 
He whose proud bosom once raged with humanity, 

He whose broad forehead was circled with might, 
Sank to a time-serving, driv'lling inanity — 

God ! why not spare our loved country the sight ? 

ii. 

Was it the gold of the stranger that tempted him? 

Ah ! we'd have pledged to him body and soul ; 
Toiled for him — fought for him — starved for him — died 
for him — 

Smiled, tho' our graves were the steps to his goal. 
Breathed he one word in his deep, earnest whisper- 
ing* 

Wealth, crown, and kingdom, were laid at his feet; 
Raised he his right hand, the millions would round him 
cling — 

Hush ! 'tis the Sassenach ally you greet. 



A LAMENT. 



31 



in. 

Leaders have fallen — we wept, but we triumphed, too — 

Patriot blood never sinks in the sod ; 
He falls, and the jeers of the nation he bent to sue 

Rise like accusing weird spirits to God. 
Weep for him — weep for him — deep is the tragedy — 

Angels themselves now might doubt of God's truth ; 
Souls from their bloody graves, shuddering, rise to see 

How he avenges their lost, murdered youth. 

IV. 

Tone, and Fitzgerald, and the pale-brow'd enthusiast — 

He whose heart broke, but shrank not from the strife ; 
Davis, the latest loved — he who in glory passed, 

Kindling Hope's lamp with the chrism of life. 
Well may they wail for him — power and might were his — 

Loved as no mortal was loved in the land — 
What has he sold them for? Sorrow and shame it is, 

Fair words and false from a recreant band. 

v. 

Time's shade was on him ; what matter ? we loved him yet ; 

Aye, would have torn the veins with our teeth, 
Made him a bath of our young blood to pay the debt — 

Purchased his life, tho' we bought it by death. 
Pray for him — pray : an archangel has fallen low ; 

There's a throne less in Heaven, there is sorrow on earth. 
Weep, angels — laugh, demons ! When his hand could 
strike the blow, 

Where shall we seek for truth, honour, or worth? 



32 



THE YOUNG PATRIOT LEADER. 



THE YOUNG PATRIOT LEADER. 



Oh ! he stands beneath the sun, that glorious Fated One, 
Like a martyr or conqueror, wearing 

On his brow a mighty doom, be it glory, be it gloom, 
The shadow of a crown it is bearing. 

At his Cyclopean stroke the proud heart of man awoke, 
Like a king from his lordly down-lying ; 

And whereso'er he trod, like the footstep of a God, 
Was a trail of light the gloom outvying. 

In his beauty and his youth, the Apostle of the Truth, 
Goes he forth with the words of salvation, 

And a noble madness falls on each spirit he enthralls, 
As he chants his wild Pseans to the nation. 

As a tempest in its force, as a torrent in its course, 
So his words fiercely sweep all before them, 

And they smite like two-edged swords, those undaunted 
thunder-words, 
On all hearts, as tho' angels did implore them. 

See our pale cheeks how they flush, as the noble visions rush 

On our soul's most dark desolation, 
And the glorious lyric words, Right, Freedom, and our 
Swords ! 

Wake the strong chords of life to vibration. 



THE YOUNG PATRIOT LEADER. 



33 



Aye ; right noble, in good sooth, seemed he battling for 
the truth, 

When he poured the full tide of his scorn 
Down upon the Tyrants' tract, like an Alpine cataract : 
Ah ! such men wait an iEon to be born. 

So he stood before us then, one of God's eternal men, 
Flashing eye, and hero mould of stature, 

With a glory and a light circling round his brow of might, 
That revealed his right royal kingly nature. 

Lo ! he leadeth on our bands, Freedom's banner in his 
hands, 

Let us aid him, not with words, but doing; 
With the marches of the brave, prayers of might that 
strike and save, 
Not a slavish spirit's abject suing. 

Thus in glory is he seen, tho' his years are yet but green, 

The anointed as head of our nation; 
For high Heaven hath decreed, that a soul like his must 
lead, 

Let us kneel, then, in deep adoration. 

Oh ! his mission is divine; dash down the Lotus wine — 

Too long is your tranced sleep abiding; 
For by Him w r ho gave us life, we shall conquer in the 
strife, 

So we follow but that Young Chief's guiding. 



D 



34 



ATTENDITE POPULE. 



ATTENDITE POPULE. 



Oh ! that I stood upon some lofty tower, 

Before the gathered people, face to face, 
That, like God's thunder, might my words of power 

Roll down the cry of Freedom to its base ! 
Oh ! that my voice, a storm above all storms, 

Could cleave earth, air, and ocean, rend the sky 
With the fierce earthquake shout: " To arms ! to arms ! 

For Truth, Fame, Freedom, Vengeance, Victory!" 

The mountains, could they speak, would cry in thunder. 

" Too long we've borne the tyrant's trampling hoof ;" 
The stars would fight from Heaten with signs of wonder ; 

The tempest waves dash back a stern reproof : 
But ye, writhing like worms beneath the tyrants spurn- 
ing, 

Dragged in the dust behind his chariot-wheel, 
Is there no vengeance in your strong hearts burning, 

Tho' God, and man, and earth, and heaven appeal? 
Oh ! for some prophet's voice to rouse and warn — 

Some angel's strength to strike them branch and 
root ! 

Oh ! for some Christ to bid, in Godlike scorn, 
The very stones cry out, should ye be mute ! 



FORWARD ! 



35 



FORWARD ! 



What though Freedom's hosts are parted, 

Yet, beneath one banner fighting, 
Strong in love and hero-hearted, 

All, their country's wrongs are righting 
With the weapon that each deemeth best to strike oppres- 
sion down, 

ii. 

And one battle-cry resoundeth 

From your ranks, success presaging ; 
And one heart within you boundeth 
With a martyr's faith, engaging 
Each to bind upon his forehead cypress wreath or laurel 
crown. 



in. 



For a power without you urges 

That can brook no more delaying, 
And the heaving myriad surges, 
To and fro in tumult swaying, 
Threaten death to all who vainly would oppose them in 
their might. 



36 



FORWARD ! 



IV. 

Thrilling words, that burn like fire, 

Ye have preached to hut and hovel, 
Till they leap up in their ire 

From the death-dust where they grovel, 
These men of many sufferings, to die or win their right. 

v. 

Pass the word that bands together — 

Word of mystic conjuration — 
And, as fire consumes the heather, 
So the young hearts of the nation 
Fierce will blaze up, quick and scathing,'gainst the stranger 
and the foe. 

Hand to hand with them confronted, 
Looking death and danger gravely 

In the face, with brow undaunted ; 
Doing nobly, dying bravely, 
Stern as men resolved to conquer or to perish in their woe. 

VII. 

For the God-breath speaketh in you, 

Dare ye not belie your mission ; 
And the beck'ning angels win you 
On with many a radiant vision, 
Up the thorny path of glory, where the hero gains his 
crown. 



FORWARD ! 



37 



VIII. 

Fling abroad our country's banner, 
Foremost march to Freedom leading, 

Let the breath of millions fan her, 
Not alone the wine-press treading, 
For a nation is arising from her long and ghastly swoon. 

IX. 

Go with lips that dare not falter, 

Offer up, with exaltations, 
On your country's holy altar, 

Youth, with all its fervid passions, 
And your life, if she demands it — Can a patriot fear to die ? 

x. 

What is life that ye should love it 

More than manlike deeds of duty? 
There's a glory far above it 

Crowns your brow with nobler beauty — 
Tis to die, with cheers heroic, lifting Freedom's standard 
high. 

XI. 

Through the darkness and the dunlight 

Of this sorrow-night of weeping, 
Ye shall trail the radiant sunlight, 
And, like strong men armed, leaping 
Forth to wondrous deeds of glory, mak6 Humanity 
sublime. 



38 



FORWARD ! 



XII. 

Rising higher still, and higher, 

Till the angel who stands nighest 
To the Throne shall tune his lyre 
To your praise before the Highest, 
And the Crown of Fame Immortal shall be yours throug 
out all time. 



HAVE YE COUNtED THE COST? 



HAVE YE COUNTED THE COST? 



i. 

Will our Leaders faint and falter 

At the foes they have to bind — 
The Ignorance and Prejudice, 

Bigot heart and shallow mind ? 
Do they tremble at the ordeal 

That is looming from afar — 
The battle, and the hero-death, 

And vict'ry's fiery car? 

ii. 

Ah ! the brave ones ! Lion-hearted ! 

They whose prophet accents rung, 
As if pentecostal fires 

Had been kindled on their tongue ; 
Some with words of soft persuasion, 

Melting hearts of stern and strong, 
Like the minor chord that waketh 

All our tears in Irish song. 

in. 

Some with glance, like eagles, fearless, 
And great thoughts that kindle deeds, 

Bowing souls of men before them 
As the storm-wind sweeps the reeds. 



HAVE YE COUNTED THE COST? 

Will they sink down, pale and weary? 

Vain is preaching to the wind, 
Burning words and supplications — 

Slavish souls are deaf and blind. 



IV. 

Never ! Like the protomartyr, 

Ages since on Judah's plains, 
While around him, furious raging, 

Stood the fierce, unbranded Cains ; 
So, sublime in holy daring, 

Stand our Leaders calmly there, 
Though such grief their spirit's clouding 

As might quickly fade young hair. 



Grief for the idiot people, 

Who, with suicidal hand, 
Strive to bind the fetters closer 

On their prostrate, bleeding land. 
But a silver cord of gladness 

Is inwoven in the gloom — 
Through the midnight of our sadness, 

Brightest stars from heaven loom. 



VI. 

Morning comes when night is darkest, 
Near to evil good will spring, 

As the Indian serpent resteth 
On the leaf that heals its sting. 



HAVE YE COUNTED THE COST? 



Braver spirits will enkindle, 
To redeem our abject race; 

Noble hearts will beat yet nobler, 
To retrieve our past disgrace. 

VII. 

Brighter still, and brighter shining, 

Seems the glory of the few, 
Who, in face of earth and heaven, 

Swear to God they dare be true. 
Let the masses pass on scorning, 

Seek not courage in their mind ; 
Self-devotion, patriot fervour, 

Spring not from the craven kind. 

VIII. 

Abject tears, and prayers submissive- 
Have they eyes, and cannot see ? 

Never country gained her freedom 
When she sued on bended knee. 

Be our Leaders, then, still daring, 
Bold in word, and brave in fight; 

And when comes the day of trial, 
Then, may God defend the Right ! 



42 



THE YEAR OF REVOLUTIONS. 



THE YEAR OF REVOLUTIONS. 



i. 

Lift up your pale faces, ye children of sorrow, 
The night passes on to a glorious to-morrow! 
Hark ! hear you not sounding glad Liberty's paean, 
From the Alps to the Isles of the tideless iEgean? 
And the rhythmical march of the gathering nations, 
And the crashing of thrones 'neath their fierce exulta- 
tions, 

And the cry of Humanity cleaving the ether, 
With hymns of the conquering rising together — 
God, Liberty, Truth ! How they burn heart and brain — 
These words shall they burn — shall they waken in vain ? 

n. 

No! soul answers soul, steel flashes on steel, 
And land wakens land with a grand thunder-peal. 
Shall we, oh ! my brothers, but weep, pray, and groan, 
When France reads her rights by the flames of a throne ? 
Shall we fear and falter to join the grand chorus, 
When Europe has trod the dark pathway before us? 
Oh, courage ! and we, too, will trample them down, 
The minions of power, the serfs of a crown. 
Oh, courage ! but courage, if once to the winds 
Ye fling Freedom's banner, no tyranny binds. 



THE YEAH OF RETOIXTIOXS. 



43 



in. 

At the voice of the people the weak symbols fall, 
And Humanity marches o'er purple and pall, 
O'er sceptre and crown, with a glorious disdain, 
For the symbol must fall and Humanity reign. 
Onward ! then onward ! ye brave to the vanguard, 
Gather in glory round Liberty's standard ! 
Like France, lordly France, we shall sweep from their 
station, 

All, all who oppose the stern will of a nation ; 
Like Prussia's brave children will stoop to no lord, 
But demand our just rights at the point of the sword. 

IV. 

We'll conquer ! we'll conquer ! No tears for the dying, 
The portal to Heaven be the field where they're lying. 
We'll conquer ! we'll conquer ! No tears for the slain, 
Gods angels will smile on their death-hour of pain. 
On, on in your masses dense, resolute, strong 
To war against treason, oppression, and wrong; 
On, on with your chieftains, and Him we adore most, 
Who strikes with the bravest and leads with the fore- 
most. 

Who brings the proud light of a name great in story, 
To guide us through danger, unconquered by glory. 

v. 

With faith like the Hebrew's we'll stem the Red Sea — 
God ! smite down the Pharaohs — our. trust is in Thee ; 



44 



THE YEAR OF REVOLUTIONS. 



Be it blood of the tyrant or blood of the slave, 
We'll cross it to Freedom, or find there a grave. 
Lo ! a throne for each worker, a crown for each brow, 
The palm for each martyr that dies for us now ; 
Spite the flash of their muskets, the roar of their 
cannon, 

The assassins of Freedom shall lower their pennon ; 
For the will of a nation what foe dare withstand? 
Then, patriots, heroes, strike ! God for our Land ! 



RUINS. 



RUINS. 



Shall we tread the dust of ages, 

Musing, dreamlike, on the past, 
Seeking on the broad earth's pages 

For the shadows Time hath cast ; 
Waking up some ancient story, 

From each prostrate shrine or hall, 
Old traditions of a glory 

Earth mav never more recall ? 

ii. 

Poet thoughts of sadness breathing, 

For the temples overthrown ; 
Where no incense now is wreathing, 

And the gods are turned to stone. 
Wandering by the graves of heroes, 

Shrouded deep in classic gloom, 
Or the tombs where Egypt's Pharaohs 

Wait the trumpet and the doom. 

in. 

By the city, desert-hidden,* 
Which Judea's mighty king 

Made the Genii, at his bidding, 
Raise by magic of his ring ; 

* Palmyra, or Tadmor. 



RUINS. 



By the Lake Asphaltian wander, 
While the crimson sunset glow 

Fings its radiance, as we ponder 
On the buried towns below. 



By the Cromleach, sloping downward, 

Where the Druid's victim bled ; 
By those Towers, pointing sunward, 

Hieroglyphics none have read : 
In their mystic symbols seeking, 

Of past creeds and rites o'erthrown, 
If the truths they shrined are speaking 

Yet in Litanies of Stone. 



v. 

By the Temple of the Muses, 

Where the climbers of the mount 
Learned the soul's diviner uses 

From the Heliconian fount. 
By the banks of dark Illyssus, 

Where the Parcse walked of old, 
In their crowns of white narcissus, 

And their garments starred with g< 



VI. 

By the tomb of queenly Isis, 
Where her fallen prophets wail, 

Yet no hand has dared the crisis 
Of the lifting of the vail. 



RUINS. 



By the altar which the Grecian 
Raised to God without a name ; 

By the stately shrine Ephesian, 
Erostratus burned for fame. 



VII. 

By the Libyan shrine of Amraon, 

Where the sands are trod with care, 
Lest we, bending to examine, 

Start the lion from his lair. 
Shall we tread the halls Assyrian, 

Where the Arab tents are set ; 
Seek the glory of the Tyrian, 

Where the fisher spreads his net ? 



VIII. 

Shall we seek the " Mene, mene," 

Wrote by God upon the wall, 
While the proud son of Mandane 

Strode across the fated hall? 
Shall we mourn the Loxian's lyre, 

Or the Pythian priestess mute ? 
Shall we seek the Delphic fire, 

Though we've lost Apollo's lute ? 



IX. 

Ah ! the world has sadder ruins 

Than these wrecks of things sublime ; 

For the touch of man's misdoings 

Leaves more blighted tracks than Time. 



RUINS. 



Ancient lore gives no examples 
Of the ruins here we find — 

Prostrate souls for fallen temples, 
Mighty ruins of the mind. 



We had hopes that rose as proudly 

As each sculptured marble shrine ; 
And our prophets spake as loudly 

As their oracles divine. 
Grand resolves of giant daring, 

Such as Titans breathed of old ; 
Brilliant aims their front uprearing, 

Like a temple roofed with gold. 



XI. 

Souls of fire, like columns pointing, 

Flamelike, upward to the skies ; 
Glorious brows, which God's anointing 

Consecrated altar-wise. 
Stainless hearts, like temples olden, 

None but priest hath ever trod ; 
Hands as pure as were the golden 

Staves which bore the ark of God. 



XII. 

Oh ! they built up radiant visions, 

Like an iris after rain ; 
How all paradise traditions 

Might be made to live again. 



RUINS. 



49 



Of Humanity's sad story, 

How their hand should turn the page, 
And the ancient primal glory, 

Fling upon this latter age. 

XIII. 

How with Godlike aspirations, 

Up the souls of men would climb, 
Till the fallen, enslaved nations 

Trod in rhythmic march sublime ; 
Reaching heights the people knew not, 

Till their Prophet Leaders led — 
Bathed in light that mortals view not, 

While the spirit life lies dead. 



XIV. 

How the pallid sons of labour, 

They should toil, and toil to raise, 
Till a glory, like to Tabor, 

Once again should meet earth s gaze. 
How the poor, no longer keeping 

Count of life alone by groans, 
With the strong cry of their weeping, 

Start the angels on their thrones. 



xv. 

Ah ! that vision's bright ideal, 
Must it fade and perish thus? 

Must its fall alone be real? 
Are its ruins trod by us? 



RUINS. 



Ah ! they dreamed an Eldorado, 
Given not to mortal sight; 

Yet the souls that walk in shadow, 
Still bend forward to its light. 



XVI. 

Earnest dreamers, sooth we blame not 

If ye failed to reach the goal — 
If the glorious real came not 

At the strong prayer of each soul. 
By the path yeVe trod to duty, 

Blessings yet to man may flow, 
Though the proud and stately beauty 

Of your structure lieth low. 



XVII. 

Low as that which Salem mourneth, 

On Moriah's holy hill ; 
While the heathen proudly scorneth, 

Yet the wrecks are glorious still : 
Like the seven columns frowning, 

On the desert city down ; 
Or the seven cedars crowning 

Lofty Lebanon. 



xvm. 

Poet wanderer, hast thou bent thee 
O'er such ruins of the soul? 

Pray to God that some Nepenthe 
May efface that hour of dole. 



RUIXS. 



51 



We may lift the shrine and column, 
From the dust which Time hath cast ; 

Choral chants may mingle solemn, 
Once again where silence passed ; 

XIX. 

But the stately, radiant palace, 

We had built up in our dreams, 
With Hope s rainbow-woven trellis, 

And Truth s glorious sunrise beams ; 
Our aims of towering stature, 

Our aspirations vain, 
And our prostrate human nature — 

Who will raise them up again ? 



DISCIPLINE. 



DISCIPLINE. 



i 

Close the starry dream-portal, 

We must tread earth again, 
Flashes no light immortal 

Now on life's dreary plain. 
We must wait, like the Stoic, 

Brave, enduring, and strong, 
Till the soul's strength heroic 

Bends the fetters of wrong. 



n. 

By the lore life has brought us, 

We shall fathom man's soul ; 
By the tears sorrow taught us, 

We shall measure their dole. 
Guide them on through affliction, 

All earth's Saviours have trod, 
Till from life's cruci6xion 

They can soar up to God. 



DISCIPLINE. 

hl 

From the heart of man weeding 

Up each rough brier and thorn, 
With a hero-pride treading 

Down the world's shallow scorn ; 
With a saint s self-denying 

Toiling still for our land; 
With a Christ-strength defying 

Earth and Hells gathered band, 



In the soul's earnest travail, 

Must the God-work be wrought ; 
By the world's woe and cavil, 

Must the deep heart be taught. 
Blighted youth, crushed ambition, 

On the altar must lie ; 
Tis the world-old tradition, 

Thus the Prophet must die. 



But this deep lore can only 

Be learned in the gloom, 
Where the gifted tread, lonely, 

The Prophet-path of doom : 
For by life-blood, and brain-sweat, 

Is the altar-flame fed; 
And from hearts crushed by pain, yet 

Must the incense be shed. 



DISCIPLINE. 
VI. 

Still, 'tis grand this wild warring 

Upon life's battle-field; 
Fear not the heart's marring 

If the soul never yield. 
Fight for God's Truth yet longer, 

'Gainst the fierce storms of life, 
For the strong soul grows stronger 

By the combat and strife. 



THE EXODUS. 



THE EXODUS. 



i. 

" A million a decade !" Calmly and cold 

The units are read by our statesmen sage ; 
Little they think of a Nation old, 
Fading away from History's page ; 
Outcast weeds by a desolate sea — 
Fallen leaves of Humanity. 

ii. 

" A million a decade !" — of human wrecks, . 

Corpses lying in fever sheds — 
Corpses huddled on foundering decks, 
And shroudless dead on their rocky beds; 
Nerve and muscle, and heart and brain, 
Lost to Ireland — lost in vain. 

in. 

" A million a decade !" Count ten by ten, 

Column and line of the record fair ; 
Each unit stands for ten thousand men, 
Staring with blank, dead eye-balls there ; 
Strewn like blasted trees on the sod, 
Men that were made in the image of God. 



THE EXODUS. 



IV. 

" A million a decade !" — and nothing done ; 

The Caesars had less to conquer a world ; 
The war for the Right not yet begun, 

The banner of Freedom not yet unfurled: 
The soil is fed by the weed that dies ; 
If forest leaves fall, yet they fertilise. 

v. 

But ye — dead, dead, not climbing the height, 
Not clearing a path for the future to tread ; 
Not opening the golden portals of light, 

Ere the gate was choked by your piled-up dead : 
Martyrs ye, yet never a name 
Shines on the golden roll of Fame. 

VI. 

Had ye rent one gyve of the festering chain, 

Strangling the life of the Nation's soul ; 
Poured your life-blood by river and plain, 

Yet touched with your dead hand Freedom's goal ; 
Left of heroes one footprint more 
On our soil, tho' stamped in your gore — 

VII. 

We could triumph while mourning the brave, 

Dead for all that was holy and just, 
And write, through our tears, on the grave, 
As we flung down the dust to dust — 
" They died for their country, but led 
Her up from the sleep of the dead." 



THE EXODUS. 



57 



VIII. 

" A million a decade !" What does it mean? 

A Nation dying of inner decay — 
A churchyard silence where life has been — 
The base of the pyramid crumbling away : 
A drift of men gone over the sea, 
A drift of the dead where men should be. 



IX. 

Was it for this ye plighted your word, 

Crowned and crownless rulers of men ? 
Have ye kept faith with your crucified Lord, 
And fed His sheep till He comes again? 
Or fled like hireling shepherds away, 
Leaving the fold the gaunt wolf's prey? 



Have ye given of your purple to cover, 
Have ye given of your gold to cheer, 
Have ye given of your love, as a lover 
Might cherish the bride he held dear, 
Broken the Sacrament-bread to feed 
Souls and bodies in uttermost need? 



XI. 

Ye stand at the Judgment-bar to-day — 

The Angels are counting the dead-roll, too; 
Have ye trod in the pure and perfect way, 

And ruled for God as the crowned should do ? 
Count our dead — before angels and men, 
Ye're judged and doomed by the Statist's pen. 



THE FAITHLESS SHEPHERDS. 



THE FAITHLESS SHEPHERDS. 



" Os habent, et non loqrmntur : 
Oculos habent, et non violent." 



Dead ! — dead ! Ye are dead while ye live ; 

YeVe a name that ye live — but are dead. 
Neither counsel nor love did ye give, 

And your lips never uttered a word 
While swift ruin downward sped, 

And the plague raged on undisturbed. 
Not a throb of true life in your veins, 

Not a pulse in your passionless heart, 
Not a thought in the dull, cold brains, 

Of how ye should bear your part. 
When summoned the strife to brave, 
For our Country, with Death and the Grave. 

Ye have gold for the follies of fashion, 

And gold for its tinsel glare, 
But none for the wild, sobbing passion 

Wrung from the lips of despair. 
False Shepherds and Guides are ye, 

For the heart in each bosom is cold 
As the ice on a frozen sea ; 

And your trappings of velvet and gold 



THE FAITHLESS SHEPHERDS. 



Lie heavy and close as a pall, 
When the steps of the bearers fall 
On a grave, with measured tread ; 
For ye seem to live — but are dead. 



Ye are dead ! — ye are dead ! stone by stone 

The temple is crumbling down ; 

It will fall with a crash of doom, 

For the night deepens dark in its gloom. 

But ye look on w^ith vacant stare, 
Like men lying still in the tomb. 

Stand forth ! face the sun, if ye dare, 
With your cold eyes unwet by a tear, 
For your Country laid low on your bier, 
And say — have ye stretched forth a hand 
To raise up our desolate Land ? 



She dies — but ye flourish and grow 

In the midst of the deadly maze : 
Like the palm springing heavenward? — No, 

But like weeds in the churchyard fed 
By the vapours of death below, 

Breathing round you a poisonous haze. 
Go ! — go ! True life is not so — 

For decay lies beneath your tread, 
And the staff in your hand is a reed — 
Too weak for your Country's need; 

For you seem to live — but are dead. 



THE FAITHLESS SHEPHERDS. 



Ye are dead ! — ye are dead ! Fling the clay 
On the noble names — noble no more ; 

Leave the sword in the sheath to rust; 

Let the banners be trailed in the dust ; 

And the memory perish away 

Of the dead, who are dead evermore; 

Blot them out from the book writ in gold. 
Noble neither in deed nor in soul, 
Are ye worthy to stand in the roll 

Of the glorified heroes of old? 

Has Ireland need of such sons? 

Floating down with a silken sail, 
On the crimson tide of her life, that runs 

With a mournful, ceaseless wail, 

Like rain pouring down from the eaves. 
And ye laugh when the strangers deride 

Her trials, the saddest and sorest, 
And plunge the sword deep in her side ; 

And no kindly heart sighs or grieves 
For her branches, all bare as a forest, 

When the autumn wind scatters the leaves. 



Laugh low with your perfumed breath, 
For the air is heavy with death. 
But ye hear not the gliding feet 

Of the Future, that stands at your door; 
For the roses lie heavy and sweet, 

And too thick on your marble floor, 



THE FAITHLESS SHEPHEEDS. 



61 



And the dead soul is dead to his call. 

And your eyes are heavy with wine; 
Ye see not the letters of flame, 

Traced by a hand divine — 
The writing of God on the w r all — 
" Ye are weighed, and found wanting" — Oh, shame ! 
Your life is a gilded lie ; 

And the wide world that doom has read, 

With a shudder and chill of dread ; 
For the judgment of God is nigh, 
And the universe echoes the cry — 

You've a name that ye live — but are dead. 



62 WORK WHILE IT IS CALLED TO-DAY. 



WORK WHILE IT IS CALLED TO-DAY. 



" No man hath hired us" — strong hands drooping, 

Listless falling in idleness down ; 
Men in the silent market-place grouping 

Round Christ's cross of silent stone. 
"No man hath hired us" — pale hands twining, 

Stalwart forms bowed down to sue. 
" The red dawn is passed, the noon is shining, 

But no man hath given us work to do." 

Then a voice pealed down from the heights of Heaven : 

Men, it said, of the Irish soil ! 
I gave you a land as a Garden of Eden, 

Where you and your sons should till and toil ; 
I set your throne by the glorious w r aters, 

Where ocean flung round you her mighty bands, 
That your sails, like those of your Tyrian fathers, 

Might sweep the shores of a hundred lands. 

Power I gave to the hands of your leaders, 

Wisdom I gave to the lips of the wise, 
And your children grew as the stately cedars, 

That shadowed the streams of Paradise. 



WORK WHILE IT IS CALLED TO-DAY. 



63 



What have ye done with my land of beauty ? 

Has the spoiler bereft her of robe and crown, 
Have my people failed in a people's duty, 

Has the wild boar trampled my vineyard down ? 

True, they answered, faint in replying — 

Our vines are rent by the wild boar's tusks ; 
The corn on our golden slopes is lying, 

But our children feed on the remnant husks. 
Our strong men lavish their blood for others ; 

Our prophets and wise men are heard no more ; 
Our young men give a last kiss to their mothers, 

Then sail away for a foreign shore. 

From wooded valleys and mountain gorges, 

Emerald meadow and purple glen, 
Across the foam of our wild sea surges, 

They flee away like exiled men. 
Yet, the chant we hear of the new evangels, 

Rising like incense from earth s green sod ; 
We — we alone, before worshipping angels, 

Idly stand in the Garden of God. 

Then the Lord came down from the heights of Heaven, 

Came down that garden fair to view, 
Where the weary men waited from morn till even, 

For some one to give them work to do. 
Ye have sinned, He said, and the angel lustre 

Darkened slowly as summer clouds may ; 
Weeds are growing where fruit should cluster, 

Yet, ye stand idle all the day. 



64 



WOEK WHILE IT IS CALLED TO-DAY. 



Have ye trod in the furrows, and worked as truly 

As men who knew they should reap as they sow ? 
Have ye flung in the seed and watched it duly, 

Day and night, lest the tares should grow ? 
Have ye tended the vine my hand hath planted, 

Pruned and guided its tendrils fair; 
Ready with life-blood, if it were wanted, 

To strengthen the fruit its branches bear? 

Have ye striven in earnest, working solely 

To guard my flock in their native fold ? 
Are your hands as pure, and your hearts as holy, 

As the saints who walk in the City of Gold? 
Go ! work in my vineyard, let none deceive ye, 

Each for himself his work must do ; 
And whatever is right shall my angel&give ye, 

The work and the workman shall have their due. — 

Who knoweth the times of the new dispensations? 

Go on in faith, and the light will come ; 
The last may yet be first amongst nations, 

Wait till the end for the final doom. 
The last may be first ! Shall our country's glory 

Ever flash light on the path we have trod? 
Who knows? — who knows? — for our future story 

Lies hid in the great sealed Book of God. 



WHO WILL SHOW US ANY GOOD? 



G5 



WHO WILL SHOW US ANY GOOD? 



i. 

Beautiful Ireland ! Who will preach to thee ? 

Souls are waiting for lips to vow; 
And outstretched hands, that fain would reach to thee, 

Yearn to help, if they knew but how, 

To lift the thorn-wreath off thy brow. 

ii. 

Passionate dreamers have fought and died for thee, 

Poets poured forth their lava song ; 
But dreamer and poet have failed as a guide for thee — 

Still are unriven the chains of wrong. 

III. 

Suffering Ireland ! Martyr nation ! 

Blinded with tears, thick as mountain mist ; 
Who of all the new generation 

Will change them to glory, as hills sun-kissed 

Flash lights of opal and amethyst? 

IV. 

Welcome a Hero ! A man who can lead for us, 
Sifting true men from the chaff and weeds; 

Daring and doing like those who, indeed, for us 
Proved their zeal by their life and deeds. | 



66 



WHO WILL SHOW US ANY GOOD? 



V. 

Desolate Ireland ! Saddest of mothers, 
Waits and weeps in her island home ; 
But the Western Land — has she freedom for others, 
Who feeds her eagles on blood of brothers? 
Not with cannon or roll of drum, 
Or her red flag can our triumph come. 

VI. 

Why seek aid from the arm of a stranger? 

Trust thy sons, O mother ! for good ; 
Braver none in the hour of danger, 

To force the claim of thy rights withstood. 

VII. 

Ireland ! wake from thy vain despairing ! 
Grand the uses of life may be ; 

Heights are reached by heroic daring, 
Crowns are won by the brave and free, 
And Nations create their own destiny. 

VIII. 

But, time and the hour fleet fast unbidden, 

A turbid stream over golden sands ; 
And too often the gold is scattered or hidden, 

Vainly we seek it with outstretched hands. 

IX. 

Then seize the least grain as it glistens and passes, 
Swift and sure is that river's flight: 

Mornings glory the bright wave glasses, 

But the gold and glory soon fade from sight, 
And splendours of noon will darken to-night. 



WHO WILL SHOW F3 ANY GOOD? 



X. 

Life is too brief for languor or quarrel, 
Second by second the dead drop down ; 

And souls, all eager to strive for the laurel, 
Faint and fall ere they win the crown. 

XI. 

Ireland rests mid the rush of progression, 
Like a frozen ship in a frozen sea; 

And the changeless stillness of life's stagnation. 
Is worse than the wildest waves could be. 
Rending the rocks eternally. 

XII. 

Trumpet-tongued, to a people sleeping, 
Who will speak with magic command, 

Bidding them rise — these dead men, keeping 
Watch by the dead in a silent land ? 

XIII. 

Grandly, solemnly, earnestly preaching 
Man's great gospel of freedom and light; 

With lips like saints' in their love beseeching, 
And hand as strong as a prophet's to smite 
For Truth and Humanity's chartered right. 

XIV. 

Earth is thrilling with new aspirations, 
Rending the fetters that bar and ban ; 

But we alone of the Christian nations 
Fall to the rear in the march of man. 



68 



WHO WILL SHOW US ANY GOOD? 



XV. 

Alas! can I help? but a nameless singer — 
Weak the words of a woman to save ; 

We wait the advent of some light-bringer, 
Strong to roll the stone from the grave, 
And summon to life the death-bound slave. 



XVI. 

Down from heights of the Infinite drifting, 
To raise the prisoned soul from its gloom ; 

Like white angels of God uplifting 

Seal and stone from the Saviour's tomb. 



XVII. 

Yet, hear me now, for a Nation pleading; 

Strike ! but with weapons yet keener than steel ; 

Flash on the path the New Age is treading, 
As sparks from the groove of the iron wheel, 
In star-flames its motion and march reveal. 

XVIII. 

Work by the shore where our broad ocean rages, 
Bridging it over by wraiths of steam; 

Linking two worlds by a chain that sages 
Forged in the heat of a science dream. 

XIX, 

For Nature has stamped us with brand immortal, 
The highway of nations our Land must be : 

We hold the keys of the Old-world portal, 
We guard the pass of the Western Sea — 
Ireland, sole in her majesty ! 



WHO WILL SHOW US AXY GOOD? 



XX. 

Work ! there is work for the thinker and doer, 
And glory for all when the goal is won ; 

So we are true to our Country, or truer 
Than planets that roll round a central sun. 

XXI. 

Call from the hills our own Irish eagle, 

Spread its broad plumes on " The Green" of old; 

With a sunrise blaze, as a mantle regal, 
Turning the dusk-brown wings to geld — 
Symbol and flag be it then unrolled ! 

XXII. 

Face the sun with as proud a daring, 
Tread the heights with a step as grand, 

Breast the storm with brave hearts un fearing, 
As kings might do for their rightful land. 

XXIII. 

Irish daring by land and river, 

Irish wealth from mountain and mine, 

Irish courage strong to deliver, 
Irish love as strong to combine 
Separate chords in one strain divine; 

XXIV. 

These are the forces of conquering power, 
Chains to rend from mountain to sea ; 

Speak and save, O Men of the hour ! 

The Freedman is he whom the Truth makes free. 



TO-DAY. 



TO-DAY. 



i. 

Has the line of the Patriots ended, 

The race of the heroes failed, 
That the bow of the mighty, unbended, 
Falls slack from the hands of the quailed ? 
Or do craves lie too thick in the grass 
For the chariot of Progress to pass ? 

n. 

Did the men of the past ever falter? 

The stainless in name and fame. 
Thev flung life's best gifts on the altar 
To kindle the sacrifice flame, 
Till it rose like a pillar of light 
Leading up from Egyptian night. 

in. 

Oh ! hearts all aflame, with the daring 

Of youth leaping forth into life ! 
Have ye courage to lift up, unfearing, 
The banner fallen low in the strife, 

From hands faint through life's deepest loss, 
And bleeding from nails of the cross. 



TO-DAY. 



IV. 

Can ye work on as they worked — unaided, 

When all but honour seemed lost ? 
And give to your Country, as they did, 
All, without counting the cost? 

For the children have risen, since then 
Up to the height of men. 

v. 

Now, swear by those pale martyr-faces, 

All worn by the furrows of tears, 
By the lost youth no morrow replaces, 
By all their long- wasted years, 

By the fires trod out on each hearth, 
When the Exiles were driven forth ; 

VI. 

By the young lives so vainly given, 

By the raven hair blanched to grey, 
By the strong spirits crushed and riven, 
By the noble aims faded away, 

By their brows, as the brows of a king, 
Crowned by the circlet of suffering — 

vri. 

To strive as they strove, yet retrieving 
The cause from all shadow of blame, 
In the Congress of Peoples achieving 
A place for our nation and name ; 

Not by war between brothers in blood, 
But by glory made perfect through good. 



TO-DAY. 



VIII. 

We are blind, not discerning the promise, 

'Tis the sword of the Spirit that kills; 
Give us Light, and the fetters fall from us, 
For the strong soul is free when it wills. 

Not our wrings but our sins make the cloud 
That darkens the land like a shroud. 

IX. 

With this sword-like an Archangels gleaming, 

Go w r ar against Evil and Sin, 
'Gainst the falsehood, and meanness, and seeming 
That stifle the true life within. 

Your bonds are the bonds of the soul, 
Strike them off, and you spring to the goal ! 

x. 

O men who have passed through the furnace, 

Assayed like the gold, and as pure ! 
By your strength can the weakest gain firmness, 
The strongest may learn to endure, 

When once they have chosen their part, 
Though the sword may drive home to each heart. 

XI. 

O Martyrs ! The scorners may trample 

On the broken hearts strewed in their path ; 
But the young race, all flashed by example, 
Will awake to the duties it hath, 

And re-kindle your own torch of Truth 
With the passionate splendours of youth ! 



A REMONSTRANCE. 



73 



. A REMONSTRANCE, 

ADDRESSED TO D. FLORENCE M'CARTHY, M. R. I. A. * 



Stand on the heights, O Poet ! nor come down 

Amid the wise old serpents, coiled around 

The Tree of Knowledge in Academies. 

The Poet's place is by the Tree of Life, 

Whose fruit turns men to Gods, and makes them live, 

Not seeking buried treasure in the tombs. 

Leave the dim records of a by-gone age 

To those great Archivists, who flash the torch 

Of Truth along Time's mouldering records, 

Illuminating all the fading Past, 

Like golden letters on an ancient scroll. 

The Poet soars with eagles, breathes pure ether, 

Basks in the light that suns the mountain peak, 

And sings, from spirit altitudes, such strains, 

That all the toilers in life's rugged furrows 

Are forced, for once, to lift the bow'd-down head, 

And look on Heaven. Flashes from Poet's words 

Electric light, strong, swift, and sudden, like 

The clash of thunder-clouds, by which men read 

God's writing legibly on human hearts. 

* On reading his Essay on the Collation of Certain Ancient Spanish 
Manuscripts, printed from the proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 



A REMONSTRANCE. 



O Poet-Prophets ! God hath sent ye forth 

With lips made consecrate by altar fire, 

To guide the Future, not to tread the Past; 

To chaunt, in glorious music, man's great hymn, 

The watchword of humanity — Advance ! 

Advance in Wisdom, Nobleness, and Truth, 

High aims, high purposes, and self-control, 

Which is self-reverence, knowing we shall stand 

With crowned angels before God's great throne. 

The Poet nerves the arm to do great deeds, 

Inspires great thoughts, flings o'er the tears of life 

The rainbow arch, to save us from despair ; 

Quickens the stagnant energies to act, 

Bears the advancing; banner of the a^e, 

Full in the van of all Humanity ; 

And, with a strength, God-given, rolls the stone, 

As angels may, from off the Sepulchre 

Where souls lie bound, bidding them rise and live. 

O Poet ! preach this Gospel once again — 
True Life, true Liberty, God's gifts to man ; 
Freedom from servile aims and selfish ends, 
That swathe and bind the kingly spirit down, 
Like Egypt's grave-clothes on the royal dead ; 
Scatter the golden grain of lofty thoughts 
From which spring hero-deeds — that so, in truth, 
Our Future may be nobler than our Past, 
In all that makes a nation's life divine — 
This is the Poet's mission, therefore — Thine. 



FRANCE IN '93. 



FRANCE IN '93. 



Hark ! the onward heavy tread — 

Hark ! the voices rude — 
'Tis the famished cry for Bread 
From a wildered multitude. 

They come ! They come ! 

Point the cannon — roll the drum ; 
Thousands wail and weep with hunger — 
Faster let your soldiers number. 
Sword, and gun, and bayonet 
A famished people's cries have met. 



ii. 

Hark ! the onward heavy tread — 

Hark ! the voices rude — 
'Tis the famished cry for Bread 

From an armed multitude. 
They come ! They come ! 
Not with meek submission's hum. 
Bloody trophy they have won, 
Ghastly glares it in the sun — 
Gory head on lifted pike. 
Ha ! they weep not now, but strike. 



FRANCE IN '93. 



III. 

Ye, the deaf ones to their cries — 
Ye, who scorned their agonies — 
'Tis no longer prayers for bread 
Shriek in your ears the famished ; 
But wildly, fiercely, peal on peal, 
Resoundeth — Down with the Bastile ! 
Can ye tame a people now ? 
Try them — flatter, promise, vow, 
Swear their wrongs shall be redressed — 
But patience — time will do the rest ; 
Swear they shall one day be fed — 
Hark ! the People — Dead for Dead ! 

IV. 

Calculating statesmen, quail; 
Proud aristocrat, grow pale ; 
Savage sounds that deathly song : 
Down with tyrants ! Down with wrong 
Blindly now they wreak revenge — 
How rudely do a mob avenge ! 
What ! coronetted Prince or Peer, 
Will not the base-born slavelings fear? 
Sooth, their cry is somewhat stern: 
Aristocrats, a la Lanterne! 
Ghastly fruit their lances bear — 
Noble heads with streaming hair; 
Diadem and kingly crown 
Strike the famine-stricken down. 



FRANCE IN '93. 



Now, the People's work is done — 
On they stride o'er prostrate throne ; 
Royal blood of King and Queen 
Streameth from the guillotine ; 
Wildly on the people goeth, 
Reaping what the noble soweth. 
Little dreamed he, prince or peer, 
Of who should be his heritor. 
Hunger now, at last, is sated 
In halls where once it wailed and waited 
Wild Justice fiercely rives the laws 
Which failed to right a people's cause. 
On that human ocean floweth, 
Whither stops it no one knoweth — 
Surge the wild waves in their strength 
Against all chartered rights at length — 
Throne, and King, and Noble fall ; 
But the People — they hold Carnival ! 



78 



THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 



THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 

A Spanish Ballad, 1492. 



I. 

Ho ! Spaniards ! rise for Liberty — your country on ye 
calls, 

To fight to-day, in proud array, before Granada's walls; 
A proud array is here to-day, full fifty thousand strong, 
Of Fantassins and Cavaliers Gonzalo leads along. 

ii. 

From Leon to Granada — from Corumla to Seville, 
Gather, Spaniards, gather, by the banks of the Xenil ! 
Eight hundred years of blood and tears beneath a foreign 
sway — 

Eight hundred years of blood and tears must be avenged 
to-day. 

in. 

Think of your ancient glory, ye lions of Leon ! 
And how in ancient story your lion name was won ; 
Think of Zamora's conquest, and royal Douro's flood — 
How ye bridged with Moslem corses, and swam it in their 
blood. 



THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 



79 



IV. 

And, mountaineers, have ye no tears to be avenged to-day — 
Asturians, and Gallicians, and wild dwellers by Vizcay? 
Ye, the unconquered remnant of the brave old Celtic race — 
For ne'er could Roman, Goth, or Moor, your nationhood 
efface. 

v. 

Ye, too, proud Gothic nobles ! by your memories as men, 
Will never fail, or shrink, or quail to meet the Saracen; 
Ye, 'fore whose conquering arm were the bravest forced 
to yield, 

Who smote the Suevi in their tent — the Romans in the 
field. 

VI. 

Now, now, oh, shame and misery ! a stranger rules your 
lands ! — 

A stranger's spoil is your native soil — a strangers voice 
commands ; 

Ye, princes once and chieftains, ere the false foe crossed 
the flood, 

Now, drawers of their water and hewers of their wood ! 

VII. 

And, Andalusian Brothers, of the old Vandalic race, 
Will ye alone 'midst Spaniards, be proud of your disgrace? 
They flatter, fawn, but hate you, these foes to whom 
you've sold 

Your Liberty for mocking smiles — your country for their 
gold. 



80 THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 

VIII. 

They own your stately palaces, they desecrate your shrines, 
They trample on your vineyards, but yet ye drink their 
wines ; 

Ye wear their silk, their gold, their gems, and to their 
feasts ye run: 

Now shame for ye, my brothers, is it thus that Freedoms 
won? 

IX. 

Back to your wild sierras, far fitter for your homes 
Than cringingly to bow beneath your masters' haughty 
domes ; 

Their Syrian silks, their Indian gems, go — fling them to 
the sea, 

But keep their Syrian steel, for it will help to set us free. 

x. 

Oh ! by your ancient memories, rise Prince, and Peer, and 

Chief- 
Smite down the foe that wrought our woe at Gebel el 

Tarff. 

The robber horde awaits your sword — draw, Spaniards ! 

for your land ! 
The crown ye lost by Roderic, regain it by Fernand. 

XI. 

No coward fears — eight hundred years ye've lived as 

slaves, not men ; 
But the sword makes bright each chartered right — ye'll 

have your own again. 



THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 



81 



Brave hearts and leal of proud Castile — Revenge, on 
Mauritania ! 

Rend earth and sky with your gathering cry: Charge! 
Cierra Espana ! 

XII. 

As tempests sweep the surging deep, thus on the Moorish 
ranks 

Dashes the Spanish chivalry; they charge on van and 
flanks. 

From Calpe's rock the thunder-shock re-echoes o'er the 
main — 

Now, God and Santiago, for Liberty and Spain ! 

XIII. 

Little they think of mercy, these slaves of eight hundred 
years ; 

Never they spare a foeman, these true Iberian spears. 
Crescented hosts your taunting boasts this day find answer 
meet, 

For the light of Heaven is darkened by the dust of your 
flying feet. 

XIV. 

Granada falls ! From the Castle walls tear down the 
Alien's rag — 

On turret and Alcazar, comrades, up with our ancient 
flag! 

It floats from the proud Alhambra ! Thank God, we've 
lived to see 

Our ancient standard waving once again above the Free ! 

G 



82 



THE FALL OF THE TYRANTS. 



XV. 

Pass out, ye weeping people ; aye, weep — for never more 
Shall ye gather in Granada by the sound of Atambor; 
For, by the rood, ye Moslem brood, we swore it in Castile, 
Never again should Spain be ruled by foreign Alquazil. 

XVI. 

O Moorish King ! by suffering thou hast earned a name 
to-day* — 

We give thee life, Abdallah; pass onwards on thy way. 
Accursed race, the foul disgrace thy rule hath brought 
on Spain, 

Is cleansed away in blood to-day — we drive thee 'cross the 
main. 

XVII. 

By Elvira's gate he goeth, all solemnly and slow — 
One last look at Granada, ere they pass that gate of woe. 
" Oh, better far thy scimitar had laid thee with the dead, 
Than weep for what thou could'st not keep" — thus the 
proud Zoraya said.f 

XVIII. 

Allah Hu Akbar ! what sorrow like my sorrows ? 
Thus he goeth weeping by the way of Alpuj arras; 
Allah Hu Akbar ! on his tomb is written down — 
The King who lost a Kingdom when Spain regained her 
Crown. 

* Abdallah is known in history as " El triste Hey." 
t This taunt of the Sultana mother is related by Conde. 



A LAMENT FOR THE POTATO. 



*3 



A LAMENT FOR THE POTATO. 

A.D. 1739. 



(FROM THE IRISH.) 



There is woe, there is clamour, in our desolated land, 
And wailing lamentation from a famine-stricken band ; 
And weeping are the multitudes in sorrow and despair, 
For the green fields of Munster lying desolate and bare. 

Woe for Lore's* ancient kingdom, sunk in slavery and 
grief ; 

Plundered, ruined, are our gentry, our people, and their 
Chief; 

For the harvest lieth scattered, more worth to us than 
gold, 

All the kindly food that nourished both the young and 
the old. 

Well I mind me of the cosherings, where princes might 
dine, 

And we drank until nightfall the best seven sorts of wine; 

Yet was ever the Potato our old, familiar dish, 

And the best of all sauces with the beeves and the fish. 

* Lore, or Lorcan, an ancient King of Munster, the grandfather of the 
great King Brian Boru. 



84 



A LAMENT FOR THE POTATO. 



But the harp now is silent, no one careth for the sound ; 
No flowers, no sweet honey, and no beauty can be found; 
Not a bird its music thrilling through the leaves of the 
wood, 

Nought but weeping and hands ringing in despair for our 
food. 

And the Heavens, all in darkness, seem lamenting our 
doom, 

No brightness in the sunlight, not a ray to pierce the 
gloom ; 

The cataract comes rushing with a fearful deepened roar, 
And ocean bursts its boundaries, dashing wildly on the 
shore. 

Yet, in misery and want, we have one protecting man, 
Kindly Barry, of Fitzstephen's old hospitable clan; 
By mount and river working deeds of charity and grace: 
Blessings ever on our champion, best hero of his race ! i 

Save us, God ! In Thy mercy bend to hear the people's 
cry, 

From the famine-stricken fields, rising bitterly on high ; 
Let the mourning and the clamour cease in Lore's ancient 
land, 

And shield us in the death-hour by Thy strong, protecting 
hand !* 

* This Irish poem, so pathetic and expressive in its simplicity, first 
appeared in the Dublin University Magazine, in the Essay on "The 
Food of the Irish," by Sir William Wilde. It is quoted by him as 
"highly characteristic both of the feelings of the people and the extent 
of the calamity of that time ; besides, being a good specimen of the native 
poetry of the Irish more than a huudred years ago." 



ASPIRATIONS. 



85 



ASPIRATIONS. 



Oh ! for pinions to bear me sunward, 
Ever and ever, higher and onward ; 

With a glance of pride, and a wing of might, 
Cleaving a path through the starry skies, 
As the soul of a poet that heavenward flies, 

Daring the depths of the Infinite. 
Soaring and singing, still upward aspire, 
Trailing a path through the crimson fire, 
Bathing in oceans of purple and gold, 
Treading the glory that men behold, 
Like far-off fields of Elysian light, 
Where angels walk in radiance bright ; 
And never to rest till the goal is won, 
And I furl my wings at the blazing sun — 
I alone, the Conquering One ! 

Then, said Love, I will lend thee mine ; 

And with strange enchantments, and many a sign, 

He bound on me the wings divine. 

Onward, onward — higher, higher, 

Seemed to bear me those wings of fire ; 

Over the earth, the clouds, the moon, 

Till the portals of heaven glittered soon. 



ASPIRATIONS. 



But, ah ! too near the Sun of Truth 

I passed, in the vain, proud spirit of youth; 

And Loves cement could not, tho' strong, 

Retain the glowing pinions on; 

And they fell from my heart, and left it bare; 

And so I sank down weeping there, 

Into the fathomless sea of despair. 

Long I lay in depth of dole, 

Till a Voice like a trumpet stirred my soul : 

My wings, it said, will bear thee far, 

Over yon highest glittering star. 

Glorious thoughts of high emprize, 

These will lift thee to the skies, 

Where the goal of glory lies. 

Trust thy own undaunted will, 

Let Ambition's spirit fill 

All thy being, till no height 

Seems too distant or too bright, 

Through the stars of upper air, 

For a soul like thine to dare. 

Then upon my spirit came 

Flooding glory, like a flame ; 

And I soared away from the mountain height, 

Filled with a strange and mad delight: 

Away, away, over march and fen, 

Over the heads of my fellow-men ; 

Hearing their choral praises rise, 

As I soared away through the pathless skies, 

In ever-echoing symphonies. 



ASPIRATIONS. 



87 



But never a rest till I reached the star 

Ambition had pointed out afar ; 

Alas ! I knew not the dazzling ray 

Of its glory, was made for no mortal sight — 

And I sank back dazed with excess of light 

Still the proud wings bore me on, 
I knew not whither, my sight was gone ; 
But I heard the tempest raging round, 
And the rolling thunder's terrible sound, 
As if all fierce passions were unbound. 
And the wings Ambition had tied so fast, 
Were rent from my soul by the tempest blast ; 
And down I sank to earth again, 
Like the dead eagle on the plain, 
By the blasting lightning slain. 

Then I heard a low Voice near, 
Murmuring softly in my ear: — 
Shall I give thee wings of power, 
Wings that will thy spirit dower, 
With a strength that, angel- wise, 
Up will waft thee to the skies? 
Passing, unscathed, the Sun of Truth, 
Fatal to wings of Love in sooth ; 
Past the false but glittering light, 
Whose glory dimm'd thy mortal sight ; 
On, through the trackless firmament, 
Where the wings Ambition lent, 
By the stormy winds were rent. 



ASPIRATIONS. 



Onward still, and ever higher, 

Past the solar central fire, 

Past the hymning angel choir ; 

Till thou standest at the Throne 

Of the great Eternal One. 

Ever more to dwell on high, 

Breathing like a harmony, 

Through the unnumber'd worlds that lie 

Far in yon blue Infinity — 

Wilt thou have these wings of mine? 

Murmured that low Voice divine. 

Yet my touch is cold and chill, 

Horror through thy heart would thrill, 

Pale dismay thy bosom fill, 

Could'st thou see me face to face. 

Never one of human race 

Could that dreadful sight behold; 

Mortal lips have never told, 

All the terrors that abide, 

All the gloom, yet kingly pride, 

In the pale form at thy side. 

Ha ! the cold sweat on thy brow, 

As I bind them on thee now : 

Canst thou bear the touch of pain, 

For the glory thou shalt gain ? 

Then I asked, with faltering breath, 

Thy name, dread Spirit ; and he saith — 

I who give these wings am Death! 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



He treads alone the burning sand 

Of the fiery desert plain ; 
No human heart is near to love, 

No human hands sustain. 
There are spirits dread in that region wild, 

And they howl in the desert blast; 
There are spirits lost, who wail and weep 

As viewless they hurry past. 

ii. 

There are forms that man never looked upon, 

Nor mortal eye could bear — 
The terrible sight of an angel's brow, 

On which is stamped despair. 
No lofty palm-tree casts a shade, 

Gusheth no silvery well, 
Where the stately Giraffe stoops down to drink, 

Or cometh the soft Gazelle. 



m. 

For the desert islands of waving green 

Are far, oh ! far away ; 
And never a spot can the wanderer find 

To rest from the noontide ray. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



Oh ! weary, weary, the changeless waste, 

Of that burning desert sand; 
Oh ! weary, weary, the changeless sky, 

Of that blasted fiery land ! 

IV. 

Weary to listen, with straining sense, 

For the step or the voice of man ; 
To watch in despair, till the sun goes down, 

For the wandering caravan. 
But the sun goes down, and the white stars rise, 

And never a sound is heard, 
Save the roar of the Lion, the Panther's howl, 

Or the scream of the carrion bird. 



Still on the pale young wanderer goes — 

On, without fear or dread, 
The hot sand burning beneath his feet, 

The hot sun above his head : 
On, tho' never his fevered lips 

Have been cooled in the desert springs ; 
For the soul that is filled with the Spirit of God, 

Recks little of earthly things. 



VI. 

On, tho' never the bending fruit 
Of the palm-tree meets his hand ; 

No food, no rest, no shelter for him 
In all that terrible land. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



And the powers of Hell seem gathering round 

That frail and gentle form, 
But, sublime in the strength of faith, he stands 

Unmoved, amid the storm. 



VII. 

The spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak, 

He hath borne what a mortal can ; 
And down on the desolate waste he sinks, 

A fainting, dying man. 
Now the hot samiri approaches fast, 

The desert wind of dread ; 
Glaring upon the horizon s verge, 

Like a pillar fiery red. 

VIII. 

Omvard it comes in lurid light, 

Like a giant form of death, 
Blasting the earth, and air, and sky, 

With its scorching, deadly breath. 
The sands rise high as billows at sea, 

Raging when tempest-tossed: 
Ah! the fiery column has reached him now — 

Pale wanderer — thou art lost ! 



IX. 

It drinks the blood from his youthful cheek, 

It burns up the life within; 
And fiercely around him it dashes and w T hirls, 

With a wild, unearthly din. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



Then he seems to hear a silvery flow, 
Soft gushing, like Paradise streams ; 

For of such whom the desert kills, it is said, 
These are the dying dreams. 

x. 

And he lifts his head from the burning waste 

But in place of the silvery fall, 
He sees but that lurid, fiery cloud 

Encircling him as a pall. 
Nearer and nearer it gathers round, 

Stifling the half-breathed prayer, 
And the fainting hands drop weary down, 

That were lifted in mute despair. 

XI. 

There's an hour of dread for human souls, 

When help there seemeth none, 
And the powers of Hell rage fierce around 

The God-forsaken one ; 
Tis the hour of dread, when souls are tried, 

And angels are bending down, 
Watching each one that resisteth to death, 

To weave for him the crown. 

XII. 

But an hour more dark, a trial more dread, 

That Weary-one hath known ; 
For now he must fight the Lord of Hell, 

In the desolate waste alone. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



Oh ! the burning breath of the fiery wind, 

Hunger, and thirst, and woe — 
What are they all to that strange, lone strife, 

With man's dark, Demon-foe? 



XIII. 

What terrible form the Tempter chose, 

Saw never a mortal eye — 
Did he come in the flame, or the thunder-cloud, 

Or flash as the lightning by? 
Was his blasted brow as the midnight black, 

Or wreathed with a lurid light, 
Like the livid rays that play on the ice 

In the gloom of a polar night ? 



None can tell ; but the subtle words 

He poured in the wanderer's ears, 
Are echoed to us from that desert wild, 

Through the long, long course of years. 
And ages many have shadowed the earth 

Since human woes began, 
Yet still, w T ith the self same w r ords and lures, 

He tempteth the sons of man. 



xv. 

Woe to the suffering soul, unless 

Sustained, O God, by Thee, 
Who hears in its anguish the Tempter's words 

u Fall down, and worship me." 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



Woe to the soul that ascends the mount 
Of pomp, and power, and pride, 

With the glories of earth within his reach, 
And the Demon at his side. 



XVI. 

But Christ, with His meek and holy brow, 

Shuns not the deadly strife; 
For His soul is strong in the armour of faith, 

And His sword is the Word of Life. 
The soul is strong, tho' the human frame 

May faint 'neath the chastening rod ; 
And the Demon-foe recognises there 

The mortal and the God. 

XVII. 

With the radiant light of a stainless soul, 

As a crown upon His brow, 
How He forces the trembling Chief of Hell 

To bend in homage low. 
Thus, with His foot on the serpent's head, 

He stands a triumphant king ; 
But the serpent fangs that have pierced His heel, 

Sorrow and Death must bring. 



XVIII. 

How glorious now is that frail, weak form, 

Strong in the spirit within, 
Standing alone in the desert of life, 

Conquering Hell and Sin. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



And we must tread the desert, too, 

Where want and woe assail ; 
We must war, like Christ, w T ith the Prince of Hell, 

We — human, weak, and frail. 

XIX. 

The Tempter will come in those moments of life, 

When the soul is dark with fears, 
And we sit by the empty urn of joy, 

Filling it with our tears; 
When those we love, as shadows pass, 

And we tread life's desert lone, 
Without hope in heaven, or love upon earth, 

Wearily ever on. 

xx. 

It is then he will lead us to doubt upon God, 

Doubt in His love for us ; 
And the murmuring soul he will tempt to ask — 

" Why must I suffer thus?" 
And pleasure and power will seem so near, 

If we but kneel to him ; 
O God, keep from us the Tempter far, 

When faith is burning dim. 

XXI. 

O Christ, who hast known the Tempter's strength, 

Bend from Thy throne of light ; 
Aid in the terrible strife with Hell, 

Aid with Thy power and might. 



THE PARABLE OF LIFE. 



Teach us to fight as Thou hast fought, 

To conquer as Thou hast done ; 
That angels may bring from the starry skies 

The palm for the conquering one. 

XXII. 

For never yet was the Tempter foiled 

By the might of Jehovah's name, 
But holy joys in the sufferer's heart, 

Like blessed angels came. 
And the terrible strife, and the desert drear, 

Will pass like earthly things ; 
But the soul that has conquered will rest in peace, 

'Neath angels' shadowing wings. 



vaxitas : 



VANITAS 



The glory of Life is fleeting ; 
Its splendour passeth away, 
As the tints and odours meeting 
In the flowers we twined to-day. 

How brightly, in varied light, 
They reflected the morning sun ; 
But the chilling dews of the night 
Withered them one by one. 

So the stream of Existence floweth 
Oer the golden sands of youth, 
In the light of a joy that gloweth 
From the depths of its love and truth. 

But heavy, and cold, and fast, 
The gathering clouds uprise, 
Eclipsing the light, which cast 
On the waters a thousand dyes. 

And onward, in sullen endeavour, 
Like a stream in a sunless cave, 
It floweth in darkness ever: 
Yet — could we thus reach the grave ! 



VAOTTAS ! 



But we wake to a sorrow deeper — 
The knowledge of all we have lost; 
And the light grows fainter and weaker 
As we're borne from youth's sunny coast. 

Yet onward with drifting motion, 
Still farther from life and light; 
Around us a desert Ocean — 
Above us eternal Night. 



FATALITY. 



99 



FATALITY . 



FROM THE GERMAN. 



I- 

One glance from thy dark eyes is all I pray for, 
One word from thy lips breathed on mine, 

One clasp of thy dear hand as a last favor — 
Then go — HI never more repine. 

n. 

Yet, thoughts of thee will dim my eyes with weeping, 

In the noon-day's glorious light, 
And dreams of thee will haunt my troubled sleeping, 

*Neath the shadows of the night 

m. 

A fatal gulf for ever lies between us, 

I know we dare not speak of love, 
Tet angels, purest angels, had they seen us, 

Might well have pardoned from above. 

IV. 

The future is too dark for my sad seeing ; 

I gaze, but, weeping, turn away — 
No hope, alas ! of our ever being 

Less sad than we are here this day. 



DESTINY. 



DESTINY. 



i. 

There was a star that lit my life — 

It hath set to rise no more, 
For Heaven, in mercy, withdrew the light 

I fain would have knelt before. 

ii. 

There was a flower I pluck'd in dreams, 

Fragrant and fair to see, 
Oh, would I had never awoke and found 

Such bloom not here for me. 

hi. 

There was a harp, whose magic tone 

Echoed my faintest words — 
But Destiny's hand, with a ruthless touch, 

Hath rent the golden chords. 

IV. 

There was a path like Eden's vale, 
In which I was spell'd to stray, 

But Destiny rose with a flaming sword 
To guard that path alway. 



DESTINY. 



V. 

I've looked on eyes were like the star — 

Their light is quench'd for me; 
And a soul I have known like the golden harp 

That breath'd but melody. 

VI. 

And moments bright as that dream-land / 
Where bloomed the radiant flower. 

Oh ! would I had died ere I felt the gloom 
Of this dark, joyless hour. 

VII. 

Fatal the time I rais'd mine eyes 
To eyes whose light hath blasted — 

Yet ere I could turn from their glance_away, 
Life had with gazing wasted. 



VIII. 

Bitter the thought that years may pass — 

Yet thus it must be ever, 
To look on thy form, to hear thy voice — 

But nearer — never, never. 

IX. 

Could I but love as I love the stars, 
Or the gush of the twilight breeze, 

Or the pale light of the wandering moon 
Glancing through forest trees ; 



DESTINY. 
X. 

With a sinless, calm, untroubled love, 
Look upwards and adore — 

Could I but thus gaze life away, 
Without the wish to soar. 

XI. 

In vain ! in vain ! I hope, I weep, 
I kneel the long nights in prayer — 

Oh ! better to die in the noon of life. 
Than love, and yet despair. 



MEMORY. 



MEMORY. 



"Nessun maggior dolore 
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice 
Nella miseria."— Dante. 



When the gloom the light appalleth — 
Wlien no tear-dew ever falleth 

Downward silently — 
When the tired heart, from languor 
Of Life's poor unmeaning clangour, 

Droopeth wearily — 
When the day, in its uprising, 
Bringeth nought that's worth the prizing, 
And the night, all dark and lonely, 
No star showeth, but clouds only — 

I think of thee. 

Pleasures past, a ghastly vision — 
Words and looks but now tradition 

That thought brings ; 
Holy Kalends of past meetings 
Rise again, with quick heart-beatings, 

On spirit wings. 
For a moment seems the vision 
A reality Elysian 

As joy before the Fall ; 
While I o-aze the brightness waneth, 
Passeth, fadeth — what remaineth ? 

Ashes all! 



104 



CORINNE'S LAST LOVE-SONG. 



CORINNE'S LAST LOVE-SONG. 



i. 

How beautiful, how beautiful you streamed upon my sight, 
In glory and in grandeur, as a gorgeous sunset-light ! 
How softly, soul-subduing, fell your words upon mine ear, 
Like low aerial music when some angel hovers near ! 
What tremulous, faint ecstacy to clasp your hand in mine, 
Till the darkness fell upon me of a glory too divine ! 
The air around grew languid with our intermingled breath, 
And in your beauty's shadow I sank motionless as death. 
I saw you not, I heard not, for a mist was on my brain — 
I only felt that life could give no joy like that again. 

ii. 

And this was Love — I knew it not, but blindly floated on, 
And now I'm on the ocean waste, dark, desolate, alone ; 
The waves are raging round me — I'm reckless where they 
guide ; 

No hope is left to light me, no strength to stem the tide. 
As a leaf along the torrent, a cloud across the sky, 
As dust upon the whirlwind, so my life is drifting by. 
The dream that drank the meteor's light — the form from 

Heav'n has flown — 
The vision and the glory, they are passing — they are gone. 
Oh ! love is frantic agony, and life one throb of pain ; 
Yet I would bear its darkest w r oes to dream that dream 

again. 



THE DYING CHRISTIAN. 



• 



THE DYING CHRISTIAN. 



By the streams of living water, 

Rest, my daughter. 

Soul, I would not stay thy flight ; 

Jesus waiteth at the portal — 

See, poor mortal, 

Open stand the doors of light. 

Let me go, life's tempest braven, 

To the haven ; 
There, beside the Saviour's throne, 
Where the choir of seraph voices 

Now rejoices 
In eternal jubal-tone. 

By thy earthly Virgin Mother — 
Saviour, brother, 

Thou hast known the gloom of death ; 

Through its shadows now I wander, 
Angels yonder, 

Keep me even as Jesus saith ! 

Now I see the distant glory — 
Life's poor story 
Ends, as it began, in pain. 



THE DYING CHRISTIAN. 



Earthly form, doth it grieve me 

Thus t# leave thee ? 
No, for Christians die to reign. 

What availeth life's brief sorrow? 

Ere the morrow 

Christ will change to smiles my sighs ; 

Dreaming, pass we through death's portal- 
Then, immortal, 

Waken up in Paradise. 

Soul- Redeemer, by thy power, 

In this hour, 
Keep faith's light from burning dim ; 
I am strong when thou art near me — 

Saviour hear me ! 
Guard me with thy Cherubim. 

Thou the martyr's crown hath borne, 
Shame and scorn, 

All to save my soul from sin ; 

Thou the hosts of death assailest, 
Sinner frailest 

Through Thee rises conquering. 

Prince of Life ! my soul's endeavour, 

Now and ever, 
Be to sing thy glorious love ; 
Death is conquered ! Thou hast given 

Peace from heaven — 
Soon I'll chant Thy praise above ! 



SYMPATHIES WITH THE UNIVERSAL. 107 



SYMPATHIES WITH THE UNIVERSAL. 



The Angel of the Universe, for ever stands he there 
Within the planet circle, the grand Hierophant of prayer ; 
His altar is the eternal sun, his light its flames of gold, 
And the stars are his rosary, through the hands of angels 
rolled. 

Down, down, throughout the Infinite, they're falling, world 
on world ; 

Like coral beads from praying hands, the planet beads are 
hurled. 

Thus, for unnumbered ages on their diamond string they 
run, 

The circling planet rosary from Uranus to the Sun. 

A rhythmic music rises from that stately choral band, 
Like a vibrant-chorcled lyre when struck by angel hand ; 
Pealing down the deep abysses, soaring up the infinite, 
The grand hymn of the Universe is sounding day and 
night. 

The grand cathedral chanting from the choir of the 
spheres, 

Within the star-roofed temple, tho' unheard by mortal 
ears. 



108 SYMPATHIES WITH THE UNIVERSAL. 



Never prayer from lip ascendeth, or from spirit never 
groan, 

But the flooding planet music bears it up before God's 
throne. 

Thus, ages after ages, will the cherub, earnest eyed, 
Within the starry temple of the Universe abide, 
Till hymns of spheral litanies, till solemn chants are done, 
Then hell rise up from the altar within the glowing sun. 

By his mighty pinions shaken, star falleth after star, 
And he flings the planet rosary down from him afar ; 
As by an earthquake riven, temple, altar, falleth crush'd, 
And the wailing planet music of the choral band is hush'd. 

But, he leads the praying spirits up from each burning 
world, 

Till before the Throne in heaven his radiant wings are 
furled. 

There he resteth calm in glory, his holy mission done, 
For within the Golden City, Altar, Temple, needeth none. 



LA VIA DOLOROSA. 



LA VfA DOLOROSA. 



I wander here, I wander there, 

Through the desert of life, all wearily; 
No joy on earth for the pilgrim soul — 
On, on for ever, drearily; 

O'er the mountain height, 
In the tempest night, 
Through the mist and the gloom, 
We press on to the tomb, 
While the death-like pall of a midnight sky 
Hangs over past and futurity. 



And the echo of wandering feet I hear, 
And human voices and hearts are near; 
But lonely, lonely each one goeth 
On his dark path, and little knoweth 
Of love, kind words, or sympathy. 
Oh! fain would I lay me down and die; 
For the upward glance of a tearful eye, 
Is all I have known of humanity. 



LA VIA DOLOROSA. 



Yet must I on, tho' darker and drearer, 
And lonelier ever the pathway seems, 
And the spectral shadow of death draws nearer, 
And rare and faint are the sun-light gleams ; 
An unseen power impelleth us on — 
No pause, no rest for the weary one, 
Till we reach the shores of that fathomless sea 
Where Time poureth down to Eternity. 



SHADOWS FEOM LIFE. 



Ill 



SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 



■ Che bella es el sognar annque es mentira P 



Vaijj the love that looketh upward ; we may worship, may 
adore ; 

From the heart's o'erflowing chalice all the tide of feeling 
pour; 

Dash our souls against the barriers that divide us from 
the shrine ; 

Fling the incense ; pour libations — aye, of life s own ruddv 
wine; 

But, the angel we gaze up to, calm as form of pictured 
saint, 

From its golden mists of glory bendeth never to our plaint ; 
Heedeth not if crushed the temple where the altar fires 
burned, 

For the doom runs through the ages — Love was never yet 
returned. 

ii. 

Thus it was he loved a lady : never priest in Ispahan 
So adored when mount and ocean morn's flashing radiance 
span. 

Never sun-god in its glory, marching stately from the east, 
Crimson-rob'd and cloud-attended, heeded less the praying 
priest, 



112 SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 

Than the lady that pale lover, while her lonely path she 
took 

O'er the spirit's glittering summits, with her proud and 
queenly look ; 

Like that Roman Sybil bearing in her hands the mystic 
scroll, 

And her large eyes looking onward where the future ages 
roll. 

m. 

So, in lone and lofty beauty, she stood high above the 
world, 

Never heeding, dashing neathward, how Life's stormy 

billows curled; 
As a pine upon the mountain, warring tempests raging 

round, 

As an island peak of ocean, with the starry midnight 
crowned. 

How could she who trod the pathway of the spirit's starry 
zones 

Stoop to listen, bending earthward, to a lover's murmur- 
ing tones ? — 

While her ear was gathering music from Creation's golden 
chords, 

List the human tears low falling, with the pleading human 
words ? 

IV. 

And could he, who tracked the eagle borne on through 

cloud and light, 
With her glorious regnant beauty filling soul and sense 

and sight, 



SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 



113 



Stoop to gaze on me, half-blasted by fierce Passion's fiery 
skies, 

Only Love, the love of woman, burning strangely in my 
eyes? 

Oh ! I've watched his glance dilating, as it rested w r here 
afar 

Rose her lofty brow, as riseth the pale glory of a star; 
Heard the world's praise hymning round her, saw his 

cheek of flushing pride, 
Whilst, writhing in heart-agony, I calmly sat beside. 

v. 

No rays of genius crowning, such as brows like hers enrol, 
No flashing thoughts, like North-lights, rushing up my 

darkened soul ; 
Waking but his earnest feelings with, perchance, my graver 

words, 

While her spirit, like a tempest, swept the range of 

Passion's chords. 
Jph, Woman! calmest sufferer! what deep agony oft lies 
In thy low, false-hearted laughter, glancing bright through 

tearless eyes ! 

And how little deemed he truly that the calmest eyes he 
met 

Were but Joy's funereal torches, on Life's ruined altar set. 



VI. 

How could I light up his nature, with no glory in my 
own? 

Soul like his, that throbbed and glittered in the radiance 
of her throne. 

i 



114 



SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 



Bitter came the words of plaining: — Why should fate to 
me deny 

All the beauty of the mortal, all the soul to deify? 
What had she done, then, for Heaven, so that Heaven 
should confer 

Every gift, to make man prostrate at her feet as wor- 
shipper? 

Raised her high enough to scorn him — aye, to trample in 
disdain 

On the heart flung down before her — heart that I had 
died to gain ! 

VII. 

Trod his love down calmly, queenly, like a mantle 'neath 
her feet, 

While with lordly spirit-monarchs she moved proudly to 
her seat, 

Grand as eagle in the zenith, with the noonday radiance 
crowned — 

Lone and icy as an Alp-peak, with the circling glaciers 
round. 

But an echo of all beauty through her fine-toned spirit rang, 
As a golden harp re-echoes to each passing music clang, 
Till in thrilling, clear vibrations rang her poet- words in air, 
Summoning souls to lofty duties, as an Angelus to prayer. 

VIII. 

Oh ! she flung abroad her fancies, free as waves dash off 1 the 
foam — 

As the palm-tree flings its branches on the blue of Heaven's 
dome, 



SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 



115 



With a genius-shadow darkening in the stillness of her 
eyes — 

With her rainbow-spirit arching half the circle of the skies ; 
Like a dark-browed Miriam chanting songs of triumph on 
the foe, 

As the rushing waters bore them to the Hades halls below, 
Till up the startled ether, down the far horizon's rim, 
The swords of men clashed music to her lofty prophet- 
hymn. 

IX. 

But no beauty thrill'd my nature, noon, or night, or sunset 
skies ; 

For the only heaven I gazed on was the heaven of his 
eyes — 

Fd have bartered Freedom , Justice, Peoples rights, or 
native Land, 

All the island homes of Ocean, for one pressure of his 
hand ; 

Trembling, weak, a coward spirit, only wishing low to lie, 
As a flower beneath his footstep, breathe my life out, and 
so die. 

Yet h e liked me — aye, he liked me — 'twas the phrase— 
- saints above ! " 
Cold and crueFsounds this liking from the lips of one we 
love. 

x. 

They said that he was dying; could I longer silence 
keeping, 

Only pour forth my deep passion in my chamber lonely 
weeping? 



116 SHADOWS FEOM LIFE. 

I reck'd not if 'twere womanly, cold convention little 
heeding, 

But in mine his hand enfolding, said, with tearful raised 

eyes pleading — 
" She hath left you, left you lonely — sorrow's harvest 

death may reap ; 
I say not — love me ; let me only watch here by you and 

weep ! " 

Then he said, his pale brow raising, with a faint, unquiet 
smile, 

And with saddest eyes upgazing upon mine for all the 
while — 

XI. 

" Sweetest friend, this sorrow-blighted, faded form, and 
seared heart, 

To death, I fear, are plighted, yet 'twere bitter now to part ; 
For the chords of life are shaken by a sympathy so true, 
And they tremble, in vibration, with a pleasure strange 
and new. 

Still, no love-dream may be cherished — ah ! the time of 
love is o'er — 

Youthful heart, by passion blighted, can be kindled never 
more; 

But if sympathy thou darest with a heart so wrecked as 
mine, 

I will give thee back the rarest kindred souls can intertwine." 



XII. 

And bending coldly, gently, on my brow he placed his lips ; 
I, trembling in the shadow of that faint # and brief eclipse, 



SHADOWS FUOM LIFE. 117 

Said : — " Tell me, tell me truly, do you love her then so 
well?" 

And the hot tears, all unruly, through my twined fingers fell, 
And down I sank unheeding so of maidenhood or wrong, 
And told him, weeping, pleading, how I'd loved him, loved 
him long; 

Seen my hopes all faded, perished, spread around in pale 
dismay, 

Wept their pallid corses over — I alone, like Niobe ! 

XIII. 

Thank God, no cruel scorn dimm'd his starry eyes divine, 
Softly, tender, earnest gazing down the tearful depths of 
mine — 

But with warmest splendours resting on the paleness of 
his cheek, 

As the roseate tinted sunset on a snowy Alpine peak, 
Bent he down upon my shoulder, murmuring loverlike 
and low, 

While his breathing softly trembled on my pale lips lying 
so: — 

" Such deep and tender loving hath recall'd me from the 
grave — 

And this heart with soft approving bids you keep the life 
you gave ; 

XIV. 

u Woman's soothing grief to lighten hath a mystic healing 
power, 

And their sympathy can brighten mans darkest destined 
hour. 



118 SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 

Let the holy words be spoken that bind soul to soul for life ; 
Let me place the symbol token on this hand — my wedded 
wife r 

Oh ! never yet did angel breathe forth such words of bliss, 
Never mortal heard evangel of a joy like unto this; 
In my gladness, smiling, weeping, knelt I down before 
him there, 

Blessing God with wild words leaping from my full 
heart's inward prayer ; 

xv. 

And a glory, ruddy, golden, streamed down on me from 
high, 

As with lifted hands enfolden gazed I up into the sky — 
Ever brighter, flashing downward, till my pained eyes 

ached with light, . t 
And I turned from gazing sunward back to earth's more 

calm delight. 

But — was it spell, or w T as it charm? — when I turned me 
to the room, 

Fading seem'd the loved one's form, half in light and 

half in gloom — 
Throbb'd my brain in wild confusion, slowly died his 

words in air, K 
All around me seemed illusion, save that streaming golden 

glare. 

XVI. 

On my fevered eyelids aching, madly press'd my hands I 
keep — 

Then arose like one awaking from a strange and magic 
sleep; 



SHADOWS FROM LIFE. 



119 



Round I gazed in wild amazement for the glorious light 
that shone, 

Was morn streaming through my casement, but it shone 
on me alone ! 

The last cold words he had written lay there beside my 
bed; 

The last flowers he had given lay beside them, faded, 
dead: 

Life's lonely desolation was true, for aye, I deem, 
But, joy's blessed revelation, that — that — was but a 
dream ! 



120 



LE REVEILLE. 



WANDERINGS THROUGH EUROPEAN LITERATURE. 



LE REVEILLE. 



It was the lark — not the nightingale — 

Poured forth her notes of warning ; 
Upwards she flew from the sun-lit vale, 

Awoke by the light of the morning. 
The day, the day is bright ! 
The night 

Hath fled that in darkness bound ye ; 
Fling ye the myrtle of love aside, 
And grasp the sword whate'er may betide — 

For the Foemen are gathering round ye ! 

It was the lark — not the nightingale — 

Arouse ye from apathy's slumber ! 
Few and dull do your watchfires pale, 

But they soon shall the stars outnumber. 
Awake, awake to life ! 
The strife 

For God and your right advances ; 
Leave the white arms of weeping beauty, 
The van of the battle's your post of duty, 

Where glitter the Foeman's lances! 



LE REVEILLE. 



It was the lark — not the nightingale — 

The gate of the morning uncloses ; 
She sings of the thundering cannon's hail — 

She sings of the battles roses ; 
On the warrior's breast 
They rest — 

The crimson roses that free the world ! 
Up, then, in Liberty's cause ye are sent — 
Let the wide heavens be but one warrior's tent, 

When the banner of Freedom's unfurled. 

It was the lark — not the nightingale — 

Leave, then, O youth, thy dreaming! 
As dashes the torrent adown the vale, 

O'er all barriers wildly streaming, 
So of thy young heart's blood, 
The flood 

Pour down on the thirsty land ; 
And Liberty's cause, that would else have died, 
Will bloom afresh from that crimson tide; 

So pledge ye your heart and hand. 

It was the lark — not the nightingale — 

Who chanted a Nation's rise ; 
Borne on the wings of the morning gale, 

It peals through the azure skies. 
Liberty's torch is bright ! 
The light 

May mock our tyrants's scorning, 
For millions of hearts will be kindled ere noon ; 
And the freedom we dream'd of in darkness, full 

We'll achieve in the light of the morning ! 



OUR FATHER LAND . 



OUR FATHERLAND. 



i. 

Why pour the ruby wine, 
For glad carousal, brothers mine, 
In the sparkling glass that flashes 

In your hand, 
When, mourning, sits in dust and ashes 
Our Fatherland? 

ii. 

What means the joyous song 
Of the festive bridal throng? 
Oh ! let music no more waken 

The echoes of our strand, 
For the bridegroom hath forsaken 
Our Fatherland ! 

in. 

No more your masses falter, 
Trembling priests, before the altar. 
Can prayer avail the dead or dying? 

Oh ! vain demand ! 
Prostrate, trodden on the ground, is lying 
Our Fatherland ! 



OUR FATHERLAND. 



123 



IV. 

Ye princes, fling ye down 
Your blood-bought jewelled crown — 
Bear the circlet on your brow no more, 

Nor signet on your hand ; 
For shivering stands before your door 
Our Fatherland ! 

v. 

Woe to ye rich ; in gloom 
Hath toll'd your hour of doom — 
There, reck'ning up your gold, ye sit in state 

In palace grand, 
While Lazarus is dying at your gate, 
Our Fatherland ! 

VI. 

And woe to you, ye poor — 
Want and scorn ye must endure ; 
Yet before ye many noble jewels shine 

In the sand. 
Ah ! they are patriots tears — even mine — 
For Fatherland ! 

VII. 

But the Poet's mission 
Is but prophetic vision ; 
To him the daring heart is granted — 

Not the hand. 
He may cease — the death-song has been chanted 
For Fatherland ! 



121 



THE KNIGHT'S PLEDGE. 



THE KNTGHT'S PLEDGE. 



The tedious night at length hath pass'd ; 
To horse ! to horse ! we'll ride as fast 

As ever bird did fly. 
Ha ! but the morning air is chill ; 
Frau Wirthin, one last goblet fill, 

We'll drain it ere we die ! 

Thou youthful grass, why looks't so green? 
Soon dyed in blood of mine I ween, 

With damask rose thou'lt vie. 
The goblet here ! with sword in hand 
I pledge thee first, my Fatherland, 

Oh ! blessed for thee to die ! 

Again our mailed hands raise the cup : 
Freedom, to thee we drink it up. 

Low may that coward lie 
Who fails to pledge, with heart and hand, 
The freedom of our glorious Laud — 

Her Freedom, ere we die ! 

Our wives — but, ah ! the glass is clear, 
The cannon thunders — grasp the spear, 

We'll pledge them in a sigh. 
Now, on the Foe like thunder crash ! 
We'll scathe them as a lightning flash, 

And conquer, though we die ! 



OPPORTUNITY. 



125 



OPPORTUNITY* 

FROM TIIK ITALIAN OF MAC II I AVE LLI. 



" Chi sei tu, che non par Donna mortale ?" 



Who art thou, glorious Form, flashing by me, 
So beautiful, so Godlike — wilt thou fly me? 
Why o'er thy face and bosom fall thy tresses stream- 
ing? 

And why the airy pinions on thy white feet gleaming ? 
My name is Opportunity. Pause or rest I never: 
Mortals rarely know me till I'm gone for ever. 
To seize me passing on to few is granted ; 
Therefore one foot upon a wheel is planted — 
Therefore the light wings bound on them, to make me 
So quick in flight that none shall overtake me. 
Down fall my tresses, face and bosom veiling, 
That none may know me 'till to know be unavailing ; 
Then, mockingly I fling aside the veil, and please me 
With their vain hope, and vainer haste to seize me. 

And who is this dark form that follows thee with 
weeping, 

Ever as a shadow on thy bright track keeping? 

* " Thoughts come again, convictions perpetuate themselves, opportu- 
nities pass by irrecoverably." — Goethe. 



126 



OPPORTUNITY. 



Her name's Repentance. When I fleet quickly by 1 
them, 

She stoppeth weeping, vainly weeping nigh them. 
But thou, poor mortal, precious moments wasting, 
Idly thou dreamest while I'm onwards hasting. 
Wilt thou not wake? Alas! weep now, I've passed for 
ever. 

Weep, for Repentance henceforth leaves thee never. 



KING ERICK'S FAITH. 



127 



KING ERICK'S FAITH. 



i. 

In UpsaPs stately Minster, before the altar, stands 
The Swedish King, brave Erick, with high uplifted 
hands — 

His royal robes are round him, the crown upon his head, 
And thus, before his people, right sovranly he said : — 

ii. 

" God ! whoso trusteth in Thee will never rue his trust; 
If God the Lord be with us, our foes shall flee like dust.'* 
He spake — from priests and people rose up the answering 
cry— 

" If God the Lord be with us, all danger we defv !" 

in. 

Scarce through the aisles is dying their mingled voices 7 
din, 

A pallid slave, disorded, comes rushing wildly in. 
" Now God us aid ! — Skalater, the Dane, has come agen, 
Fast pouring down the mountains with seven hundred 
men !" 



128 



KING ERICK'S FAITH. 



IV. 

King Erick heard him calmly, then strong in faith 
replied — 

" What man can fight against us, with God upon our side ?" 
A second slave comes rushing all breathless as the first — 
" The gate is down — Skalater each bar and bolt hath 
burst!" 

v. 

King Erick's brow grew paler, but still he looked on 
high — 

" If God the Lord be with us, no danger need we fly !" 
In comes another, trembling, but ere he uttered sound 
The Danish axes glisten — they cleave him to the ground. 

VI. 

Then rose a fearful tumult — then rose a wildered cry — 
Skalater comes in fury — defenceless we must die — 
Skalater comes in fury, with all his pagan hordes, 
And Priest, and King, and Altar must fall beneath their 

swords. 

VII. 

King Erick's glance grew prouder; he grasp'd the golden 
rood — 

He held it high to Heaven, as on Skalater strode: 
Lo ! from each wound, the seven, pours forth a thousand 
rays, 

And down to earth Skalater sinks dazzled by the blaze. 



KING ERICK'S FAITH. 



Vffl. 

They're prostrate on their foreheads, the seven hundred 
Danes, 

Praying the God to spare them who guards the Christian 
fanes ; 

But Erick and his people lift up the joyful cry — 
Our God, the Lord, has conquered ; all praise to Him on 
high ! 



K 



"FOR NORGE! 



" FOR NORGE! 



FROM THE DANISH. 



I. 

For Norway, Freedom's fatherland, 

Fill up the wine-cup flowing, 
And pledge it, brothers, hand in hand, 

To keep the hot blood glowing. 
By gyves and fetters rent we swear, 
No tyrant's hand shall ever dare 
To chain our souls, while swords w r £ bear 
To guard old Norway's Freedom ! 

n. 

Again the wine-cup passes round ; 

We'll drain it to the glory 
Of all the Chiefs and names renowed 

In Norway's ancient story. 
Across our gloomy northern night 
Their clashing arms flashed the light, 
And won for us, in hero fight, 

The prize of Norway's Freedom 

in. 

And now to all the brave ones here, 
And to the maids that love us — 

To men who never knew a fear, 
Maids pure as saints above us. 



" FOR NORGE!" 



The Norway maidens ! fill on high — 
The Norsemen, brave to do and die ! 
And shame to him who passes by 
The pledge to Love and Freedom ! 

IV. 

And yet one cup to Norway's land, 

Her snow and icy fountains, 
The rocks that guard her stormy strand, 

The pines upon her mountains ! 
Aye — three times three fill up the wine, 
Pledge mountain, torrent, rock, and pine- 
Pledge all that marks the snowy line, 

\Vhere Norsemen guard their Freedom 



132 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST. 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST. 



FROM LAMARTINE. 



I. 

Lonely stream of rushing water, 

From the rock that gave thee birth, 
Hast thou fallen, O Naiad's daughter ! 

Mingling with the common earth? 
Shall Carrara's snowy marble 

Never more thy waves inurn ; 
That with wild and plaintive warble, 

By their broken temple mourn ? 



n. 

Nor thy dolphins lying shattered, 

Fling their columns up again, 
That in radiant glory scattered, 

Fell to earth a jewelled rain? 
Must the bending beeches only, 

Veil thy desolate decay, 
Spreading solemnly and lonely 

O'er thy waters, dark as they ? 

in. 

Pallid Autumn-leaves are lying 
On thy hollow marble tomb, 

And the willows round it sighing, 
Wave their bannerets of gloom. 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST 



Still thou flowest ever, ever — 
Like a loving heart that gives 

Smiles and blessings, though it never 
Meeteth smile from one who lives. 



IV. 

Roughest rocks to polished beauty 

Changing as thou flowest on ; 
Such the Poet's heaven-taught duty, 

Mid the stony-hearted throng? 
Thus thy voice to me hath spoken, 

Falling, falling from on high, 
As a chord in music, broken 

By a gently-murmured sigh. 

v. 

Ah ! what sad yet glorious vision 

Of my youth thy scenes unroll, 
When I felt the Poet's mission 

Kindling first within my soul ; 
When the passion and the glory 

Of the far-off future years, 
Shone in radiant light before me, 

Through the present dimm'd by tears. 



VI. 

Can thy stream recall the shadow 

Of the spirit-haunted boy, 
Who in sunlight, through the meadow, 

Roamed in deep and wondrous joy? 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST. 



Yet bright memory still reaches, 
All athwart thy glistening beams, 

Where, beneath the shading beeches. 
Lay the sunny child of dreams ; 

VII. 

Weaving fancies bright as morning, 

With its purple and its gold ; 
Strong to trample down earth's scorning 

With the faith of men of old. 
Ready life itself to render 

At the shrine to which he bowed, 
Knowing not the transient splendour 

Gilded but the tempest-cloud. 

VIII 

On my heart was still'd the laughter, 

Cold the clay around the dead, 
When I came in years long after 

Here to rest my weary head. 
Waked the sad tears fast and warm, 

Once again the ancient place, 
Till, like droppings of the storm, 

They fell heavy on thy face. 



IX. 

Human voice was none to hear me 
In that silence of the tomb ; 

But thy waters, sobbing near me, 
Seemed responsive to the gloom ; 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST. 



And I flung my thoughts all idly 
On thy current in a dream, 

Like the pale leaves scattered widely 
On thy Autumn-drifted stream. 



Yet 'twas in that mournful hour 

Rose the spirit's mighty words ; 
Never soul could know its power 

Until sorrow swept the chords — 
Blended with each solemn feature 

Of the lonely scenes I trod, 
For the sacred love of Nature 

Is the Poet's hymn to God. 



Did He hear the words imploring 

Of a strong heart tempest-riven ? 
Did the tears of sorrow pouring 

Rise like incense up to Heaven ? 
Ah ! the heart that mutely prayeth 

From the ashes of the past, 
Finds the strength that ever stayeth, 

Of the Holy, round it cast ! 



XII. 

But the leaf in winter fadeth, 

And the cygnet drops her plumes : 

Time in passing ever shadeth 
Human life in deeper glooms ; 



THE FOUNTAIN IN THE FOREST. 



So, perchance, with white hair streamin 
In my age to thee I'll turn — 

Muse on life, with softened dreaming, 
By thy broken marble urn. 

XIII. 

While thy murmuring waters falling 

Drop by drop upon the plain, 
Seem like spirit- voices calling — 

Spirit-voices not in vain ; 
For life's fleeting course they teach me, 

With life's endless source on high, 
Past and future thus may reach me, 

While I learn from thee to die. 

XIV. 

O stream ! hath thy lonely torrent 
Many ages yet to run ? 

life ! will thy mournful current 
See many a setting sun ? 

1 know not ; but both are passing 
From the sunlight into gloom — 

Yet the light we left will meet us 
Once again beyond the tomb ! 



SALVATION. 



SALVATION. 



When the gloom is deepest round thee ; 
When the bands of grief have bound thee, 

And in loneliness and sorrow, 
By the poisoned springs of life 

Thou sittest, yearning for a morrow, 
That will free thee from the strife ; 

Look not upwards, for above thee 
Never sun or star is gleaming; 

Look not round for one to love thee ; 
Put not faith in mortal seeming; 

Lightly would they scorn, then leave thee. 

Trust not man — he will deceive thee. 



But, in the depths of thy own soul 
Descend ; mysterious powers unroll — 
Energies that long had slumbered 
In its mystic depths unnumbered. 
Speak the word ! — the power divinest 
Will awake, if thou inclinest. 



SALVATION. 



Thou art lord in thine own kingdom ; 

Rule thyself — thou rulest all ! 
Smile, when from its proud dominion 

Earthly joy will rudely fall. 
Be true unto thyself and hear not 
Evil thoughts, that would enslave thee. 
God is in thee ! Mortal, fear not; 
Trust in Him and He will save thee ! 



WHY WEEPEST THOU? 



139 



WHY WEEPEST THOU ? 



Why weepest thou ? 
A few more hours dreary, 
And thy spirit, the world weary, 
Beneath the icy hand of death must bow; 
But the fetters then will fall, 
And the soul redeemed from thrall, 
Will upwards mount in joy, tho* chained now — 
Why weepest thou ? 

The great Eternal One, 
Round whom the planets roll, 
Beholds each suffering soul 
Prostrate in mortal grief before His Throne ; 
He numbers every tear, 
He stills the throb of fear, 
He guides us to our heavenly native zone — 
The great Eternal One. 

Then, still thy fears ! 
Behold thy glorious home, 
Yon star-roofed azure dome — 
How infinite thy Father's house appears ! 
There, ah ! there we'll rest, 
Poor weak ones, on His breast; 
Then, mourner, let thy frail heart break in tears, 
But, still thy fears ! 



MISERY IS MYSTERY. 



MISERY IS MYSTERY. 



i. 

Misery his heart hath broken — 
Misery is mystery ! 

Let the sad one lonely be ; 
As the Ancients shunned the token 

Of a lightning-blasted tree. 



ii. 

Breathe no word, his doom is spoken — 

Misery is mystery ! 
By its scathing lightning fated, 
Human hearts are consecrated, 

For a higher destiny. 



FAREWELL ! 



FAREWELL ! 



Let mine eyes the parting take, 
Which my faint lips never can ; 
Moments such as these might break 
Even the sternest heart of man. 

Mournfully doth Joy's eclipse, 
Shroud in grief Love's sweetest sign ; 
Cold the pressure of thy lips, 
Cold the hand that rests in mine. 

Once the slightest stolen kiss — 
O, what rapture did it bring ! 
Like a violet's loveliness, 
Found and plucked in early spring, 

Now, no more my hand shall twine, 
Rose wreaths, sweetest love, for thee ; 
Without, is summer's glorious prime, 
Within, weird autumn's misery. 



142 



CATARINA. 



CATARINA. 

FROM THE PORTUGUESE OF CAMOENS. 



44 Um mover d'olhos brando e piadoso." 



A movement of the soft eyes, slow and eloquent — 

A smile of sweet, yet of such chastened joy, 

'Twere easy to transform it to a tear. 

A gentle, timid motion, like young flowers 

Beneath the murmuring west wind undulating. 

A graceful, modest ardour — yet at times 

Most grave and quiet majesty, as one 

Who knows, that rarest knowledge, her own worth, 

A childlike nature, index of a soul 

Where goodness is intuitive — not put on 

To gain false praises for a falser virtue. 

A bashful softness when she tells her love — 

A tremour as of guilt, with low-drooped eyes 

And red-rose cheek, did not her brow serene, 

Like to a temple of all holy things, 

Forbid the thought. A patient power of sufferance, 

Enduring all with angel smiles of love. 

This, the celestial beauty of my Circe — 

This is the magic potion which has changed 

Earth and all earthly sorrows to a Heaven ! 



THE POET AT COURT. 



THE POET AT COURT. 



He stands alone in the lordly hall — 

He, with the high, pale brow ; 
But never a one at the festival 

Was half so great I trow. 
They kiss the hand, and they bend the knee, 

Slaves to an earthly king ; 
But the heir of a loftier dynasty 

May scorn that courtly ring. 



They press, with false and flattering words, 

Around the blood- bought throne ; 
But the homage never yet won by swords 

Is his — the Anointed One ! 
His sway over every nation 

Extendeth from zone to zone ; 
He reigns as a god o'er creation — 

The universe is his own. 



144 



THE POET AT COUKT. 



in. 

No star on his breast is beaming, 

But the light of his flashing eye 
Reveals, in its haughtier gleaming, 

The conscious majesty. 
For the Poet's crown is the godlike brow — 

Away with that golden thing ! 
Your fealty was never yet due till now — 

Kneel to the god-made King ! 



THE MYSTIC TEEE. 



145 



THE MYSTIC TREE. 



FROM OLENSCHLAGER. 



Its branches up to Heaven a tree is sending, 
Rare to see, 

For with flowers, fruit, and seed at once is bending 
That mystic tree. 

Round the giant stem, all rugged, rude, and mossy, 

Roses twine, 
And the young flowers veil it with their glossy 

Hues divine. 

The leaves rustle thickly, many-formed, 

So green and bright ; 
The branches spread out broadly to be warmed 

In Heaven's light. 

Now curve they down, all drooping, to the meadows 

And cool springs ; 
Now upwards on the blue air fling their shadows, 

Like seraphs' wings. 

Pause ye beneath its golden avalanches — 

Well it's worth ; 
For when the breath of Heaven stirs the branches, 

The fruit falls to earth. 

L 



146 



THE MYSTIC TREE. 



Mocking apes all day there, in their folly, 

Play antic wiles ; 
All night rest the branches, still and holy 

As cathedral aisles. 

The nightingale, soft in the moonlight singing, 

Stops her grief; 
For the magic tones of Oreads seem ringing 

From every leaf. 

The tree is loved by all, but comprehended 

Scarce by one ; 
Yet each basketh in its glory, many-blended, 

As neath a sun. 

Many pause, the bright fruit harvest reaping, 

Of golden gleam ; 
But he who loveth shadow saith in weeping — 

Here let me dream. 

Lighter spirits, passing, stop where glisten 

Brightest flowers ; 
While others pause, enchanted, but to listen 

The music of its bowers. 

And he who nothing loveth goes his way, 

Unheeding all ; 
But they who love the universe will say — 

Sing on, JEAN PAUL! 



'TIS NOT UPON EARTH. 



'TIS NOT UPON EARTH. 



Why comest thou here, so pale and clear, 
Thou lone and shadowy child ? 
" I come from a clime of eternal sun, 
Tho' my mother's home is a dreary one ; 
But Love hath stolen my heart away, 
And to seek it through the world I stray." 

Oh, turn thee back to thy native land — 
Turn, ere thy heart is blighted ; 

For, alas ! upon this desert strand 
True love have never alighted. 

" My native land is beyond the skies, 
Where the perfumed bowers of Eden rise. 
But my mother's home is the spectral tomb ; 
Yet I'll back and rest in its shadowy gloom, 
For the grave is still and Heaven is fair, 
And the myrtle of love fadeth never there !" 



148 



THE ITINERANT SINGING GIRL. 



THE ITINERANT SINGING GIRL. 



FROM THE DANISH. 



Fatherless and motherless, no brothers have I, 
And all my little sisters in the cold grave lie ; 
Wasted with hunger I saw them falling dead — 
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed. 

Friendless and loverless I wander to and fro, 
Singing while my faint heart is breaking fast with woe, 
Smiling in my sorrow, and singing for my bread — 
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed. 

Harp clang and merry song by stranger door and board, 
None ask wherefore tremble my pale lips at each word ; 
None care why the colour from my wan cheek has fled — 
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed. 

Smiling and singing still, tho' hunger, want, and woe, 
Freeze the young life-current in my veins as I go; 
Begging for my living, yet wishing I were dead — 
Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed. 



IGXEZ DE CASTRO. 



149 



IGNEZ DE CASTRO. 

FROM THE PORTUGUESE. 



44 Longe de caro esposo Ignez formosa." 



I. 

Far from her Royal lover, by Mondego's sunny tide, 
Does the Lady Inez wander, Don Pedro s lovely bride ; 
Her long hair fell around her, like a veil of golden light, 
And the jewelled zone that bound her in the noontide 
sparkled bright. 

ii. 

But heavy showers are falling fast adown her azure eyes, 
As on Heaven with anguish calling, she lifts them to the 
skies. 

Where is her princely lover? Is there none to save her 
nigh? 

Does he know that King Alonzo hath sworn that she shall 
die? 

in. 

She trembles at each murmured sound that's wafted on 
the breeze : 

It is the murderer's footstep that rustles through the trees; 
But wearily, all wearily, with watching and with weeping, 
She sank in troubled slumber, while her maidens guard 
were keeping. 



150 



IGNEZ DE CASTRO, 



IV. 

She dream'd that in the palace, by her Royal lover's side, 
She sat upon the high throne, as his crowned Queen and 
bride ; 

And words of love he murmured, and the crowd knelt 

down to praise, 
And she proudly took their homage, but blushed beneath 

his gaze. 

v. 

Fair cloth of silver brighter than the sunbeam's woven light, 
And marble pillars whiter than the pale queen of night — 
Flowers and odours blending, all loveliest things were 
there, 

Incense-clouds upsending, for her — the beautiful, the fair ! 

VI. 

Her robes of tissue golden, outvied her golden tresses 
As she lay enfolden in her lovers soft caresses; 
But brighter than the diamonds that circled round her 
brow, 

Were the flashing eyes beneath them — he murmured with 
a vow. 

VII. 

And redder than the rubies that enclasped her jewelled 
zone, 

Were the roses on her cheek when he whispered — ThouVt 
mine own. 



IGNEZ DE CASTRO 151 

And he stooped his plumed head gently to kiss her — so 

she dreamed — 
But his lips were icy cold, like the touch of death it 

seemed. 

VIII. 

And she started from her slumber all tearfully and pale, 
For hurrying steps and voices were heard, and woman's 
wail — 

14 O God ! the hour has come," they cried — u the murderers 
are near ! 

Why weep ye so, my maidens, now ? — your cheeks are 
blanched with fear. 

IX. 

I see — I see their shadows — down the marble steps they 
run; 

I see their daggers gleaming in the red light of the sun — 
O Pedro ! Pedro ! save me !" — help from God nor man 
is nigh : 

All vainly to her murderers for mercy did she cry. 

x. 

Then she raised her eyes to Heaven, and threw back her 
golden hair, 

And in the streaming sunlight calm and saintly stood 
she there ; 

While upon her snowy bosom she meekly crossed her 
hands — 

You'd take her for an Angel as she there in beauty 
stands. 



152 



1GNEZ DE CASTRO. 



XI. 

What ! shrink ye now, false cravens ! — do ye fear yon pale- 
faced girl? 

Tigers, traitors, as ye are, dare ye touch one golden curl ? 
Alonzo's gold is tempting, yet fain ye now would fly 
From the calm and holy glance of that tearful azure eye. 

XII. 

It was but for a moment's pause — the next their daggers 
gleam, 

And she falls, the young and lovely, by Mondego's fated 
stream ; 

Like red rain on the young flowers, pours forth life's 

crimson tide — 
And softly murmuring, Pedro ! she looked to Heaven, and 

died. 



THE WAIWODE. 



THE WAIWODE. 



FROM THE RUSSIAN. 



Secretly by night returning, 
Jealous fears within him burning, 

The Waiwocle seeks his young wife's bed, 
And with trembling hand, uncertain, 
Backward draws the silken curtain — 

Death and vengeance — she has fled ! 

With a frown like tempest weather, 
Fierce he knits his brows together, 

Tears his beard in wrathful mood — 
Roars in thunder through the castle, 
Summoning each trembling vassal, 

" Ho there ! slaves — ye devils brood ! 

Who left the castle gate unguarded, 

And slew the hound? — some hand unbarr'd it 

Quick ! prepare ye sack and cord ! 
My arms here, fellows — loaded, ready ! 
Now, slave, your pistols, follow — steady — 

Ha, traitress ! thou shalt feel this sword." 



THE WAIWODE. 



Close in the murky shadows hiding, 
Slave and master, onward gliding, 

Reach the garden. There, indeed, 
Listening to the soft appealing 
Of a youth before her kneeling, 

Stands she in her white naridd. 



Through the marble fountain's playing, 
Passion's words they hear him saying — 

" How I love thee, yet thou'st sold 
All thy beauty's glowing treasures, 
All this soft hand's tender pressures, 

For the Waiwode's cursed gold. 



How I loved, as none can love thee ; 
Waited, wept — if tears could move thee — 

Ah ! and is it thus w r e meet? 
He ne'er strove through tears and troubles, 
Only clang'd his silver roubles, 

And thou fellest at his feet. 



Yet once more, through night and storm, 
I ride to gaze upon thy form, 

Touch again that thrilling hand ; 
Pray that peace may rest upon thee 
In the home that now has won thee, 

Then for ever fly this land." 



THE WAIWODK 



155 



Low she bendeth o'er him weeping, 
Heeds not stealthy footsteps creeping, 

Sees not jealous eye-balls glare — 
"Now, slave, steady — Fool, thou tremblest; 
Vengeance if thy heart dissemblest — 

Kill her as she standeth there." 



" Oh, my Lord and master, hear me — 
Patience yet, or much I fear me 

I shall never aim aright. 
See, the bitter night winds' blowing 
Numbs my hand, and brings these flowing 

Icy tears to dim my sight. 



" Silence ! thou accursed Russian. 
Hold — I'll guide the pistols motion ; 

See'st thou not her gleaming brow? 
So, steady — straight before thee — higher — 
When I give the signal, fire — 

Darker doom awaits him — Now ! " 



A shot, a groan, and all is over; 
Still she standeth by her lover — 

Tis the Waiwode falleth dead ! 
Was ever known such sad disaster? 
The bungling slave hath shot his master 

Straight and steady through the head. 



SULETMA TO HER LOVER. 



SULEIMA TO HER LOVER. 



FROM THE TURKISH. 



Thou reck'nest seven Heavens; I but one: 
And thou art it, Beloved ! Voice and hand, 
And eye and mouth, are but the angel band 
Who minister around that highest throne — 
Thy godlike heart. And there I reign supreme, 
And choose, at will, the angel who I deem 
Will sing the sweetest, words I love to hear — 
That short, sweet song, whose echo clear 
Will last throughout eternity: 

" I love thee ! 

How I love thee P 



THE COMPARISON, 



THE COMPARISON. 



FROM THE PORTUGUESE. 



I. 

Loveliest of flowers 

That in the garden grows, 
Brightest, sweetest, fairest, 

Crimson blushing rose ; 
Envy of all others, 

No charm thy beauty misses, 
Favourite of Phoebus, 

Blushing at his kisses. 

ii 

Yet as he outshineth, 

Glorying in his might, 
The pale, uncertain splendour 

Of Luna's silver lio;ht — 
So does Amarilla, 

When compared unto thee, 
Heedless wanton, careless 

Of the thousand lips that woo thee. 

in. 

Thou hast cruel thorns 

Beneath thy rich leaves lying, 

But she is soft and gentle 
As ^Eolian music sighing ; 



THE COMPARISON. 



Thou heedest not the murmur 
Of Zephyr when he sings, 

But see her dark eyes flashing 
When I touch my golden strim 

IV. 

In the month of flowers, 

When flaunting in thy pride, 
Crimson-robed Queen, 

I shall place thee side by side ; 
Then, Cupid, come and tell me, 

On thy judgment I'll repose, 
Which is fairest, brightest, 

Amarilla or the Rose ? 
Stay ! here is Venus coming, 

The goddess will decide — 
Ah! tis not the Paphian Queen, 

But Amarilla, my young Bride 



BUDRIS AND HIS SONS. 



BUDRIS AND HIS SONS. 



FROM THE RUSSIAN. 



I. 

Spring to your saddles, and spur your fleet horses ; 
Time for ye, children, to seek your life courses. 

(Thus spake old Budris, the Lithuan brave.) 
Never your father's sword rusted in leisure, 
Never his hand failed to grasp the rich treasure ; 

But now my feeble frame sinks to the grave. 

ii. 

Three paths from Wilna to plunder will lead ye ; 
Ride forth, my sons — each a path I aread ye- — 

Thus will your booty be varied and rare. 
Olgard, go thou and despoil the proud Prussian ; 
Woiwod, Kiestut, be thy prey the Russian — 

Vitald the lances of Poland may dare. 

in. 

From Novgorod Veliki* come back to me never 
Without the rich dust of the Tartar's gold river; 
Bring the sables of Yakutsk, so costly and fine, 
And the silver of Argun they dig from the mine, 
The gems of Siberia and far Kolivan — 
So saints speed the ride of the bold Lithuan ! 

* Novgorod the Great. 



160 BUDRIS AND HIS SONS. 



IV. 

In the cursed Prussian land there is wealth for the bold : 
Ha, boy ! never shrink from their ducats of gold ; 
Take their costly brocades, where the golden thread flashes, 
The amber that lies where the Baltic wave dashes : 
Be the prize but as rich as your forefathers won, 
And the gods of old Litwa* will guard thee, my son. 

v. 

No gold, my young Vitald, will fall to thy share, 
Where the plains of the Polac lie level and bare ; 
But their lances are bright, and their sabres are keen, 
And their maidens the loveliest ever were seen : 
So speed forth, my son, and good luck to the ride 
That brings a fair Polenese home for thy bride. 

VI. 

Not the azure of ocean, or stars of the sky, 

Can rival the colour or light of her eye; 

Like the lily in hue, when its first leaves unfold, 

Is the bosom on which fall her tresses of gold; 

Fine and slender her form as the pines of the grove, 

And her cheek and her lips glow with beauty and love. 

VII. 

By three paths from Wilna, the young men are roaming, 
Day after day Budris looks for their coming — 

But day after day he watcheth in vain. 
No steed from the high-road, no lance from the forest, 
He watcheth and waiteth in anguish the sorest — 

" Alas ! for my brave sons, I fear they are slain !" 
* Lithuania. 



BUDRIS AND HIS SONS. 



161 



VIII. 

The snow in the valley falls heavy and fast — 
Through the forest a horseman comes dashing at last, 
With his mantle wrapped closely to guard from the cold : 
" Ha, Olgard! hast brought me the ducats of gold? 
Let's see — is it amber thou'st won for thy ride?" 
" Oh, father — no, father — a young Polish bride !" 

IX. 

The snow on the valley falls heavier still, 
A horseman is seen rushing down from the hill ; 
Wrapped close in his mantle some rich treasure lies — 
" How now, my brave son — hast thou brought me a 
prize ? 

Is it silver of Argun thou'st won for thy ride? 

Come show me !" 44 No, father — a young Polish bride !" 

x. 

Faster and thicker the snow-showers fall — 

A horseman rides fiercely through snow-flakes and all ; 

Budris sees how his mantle is clasped to his breast — 

" Ho, slaves ! 'tis enough, bid our friends to the feast ! 

I'll ask no more questions, whatever betides, 

We'll drain a full cup to the three Polish brides !" 



M 



162 



THE LADY BEATRIZ. 



THE LADY BEATRIZ. 

ROMANCE. 

FROM THE SPANISH.— THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 



" Bodas hacian en Francia." 



There were stately nuptials in France, 

In the royal town of Paris : 
Who is it leads the dance ? 

The lovely Lady Beatriz. 

Who is it gazes on her, 

With looks so earnest and bright ? 
'Tis her noblest Page of Honor, 

Don Martin, Count and Knight. 

The bride and her maidens advance — 
Young Count, why lookest thou so ? 

Are thy dark eyes fixed on the dance, 
Or on me? Oh ! I fain would know. 

I gaze not upon the dance, 

Sweet Beatriz, lady mine ; 
For many a galliard I've seen in France, 

But never such beauty as thine. 



THE LADY BEATRIZ. 



Then if thou lovest me so, young Count, 

Oh ! take me away with thee ; 
For nor gay nor young, though a prince's son, 

Is the bridegroom they'd wed with me. 

There was mourning in France, I ween, 

In the royal town of Paris ; 
For no more was seen either Count Martin 

Or the lovely Lady Beatriz. 



164 



A LA SOMBRA DE MIS CABELLOS. 



A LA SOMBRA DE MIS CABELLOS. 



FROM THE SPANISH-SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 



My love lay there, 

In the shadow of my hair, 
Aj my glossy raven tresses downward flow ; 

And dark as midnights cloud, 

They fell o'er him like a shroud : 
Ah ! does he now remember it or no? 

With a comb of gold each night 

I combed my tresses bright ; 
But the sportive zephyr tossed them to and fro ; 

So I pressed them in a heap, 

For my love whereon to sleep : 
Ah ! does he now remember it or no ? 

He said he loved to gaze 

On my tresses' flowing maze, 
And the midnight of my dark Moorish eyes ; 

And he vowed 'twould give him pain 

Should his love be all in vain ; 
So he won me with his praises and his sighs. 



A LA SOMBRA DE MIS CABELLOS. 



Then I flung my raven hair 

As a mantle o'er him there, 
Encircling him within its mazy flow ; 

And pillowed on my breast, 

He lay in sweet unrest : 
Ah ! does he now remember it or no? 



A SERVIAN SONG. 



A SERVIAN SONG. 



FROM THE RUSSIAN. 



I. 

Wherefore neighest thou so sadly? 
Stampest with the hoof so madly? 
Speak, my steed — why at the tent, 
With thy stately neck down bent? 

ii. 

Have not my own hands caress'd thee ? 
Proudly in gay trappings dress'd thee ? 
Yet thou com'st not as of old, 
Champing at thy curb of gold. 

in. 

Hast thou not, in bright hues glowing, 
Silken shabrack downward flowing, 
Silver hoof and broidered rein, 
Gemm'd with trophies from the slain ? 

IV. 

And the horse, he answered sadly — 
Stamp I with the hoof so madly ? 
Tramp of steed I hear afar, 
Trumpet clang and din of war. 



A SERVIAN SONG. 



V. 

But, soon a stranger will bestride me, 
Other hand than thine will guide me, 
Never more by thee caress'd, 
Or proudly in gay trappings dress'd. 

VI. 

See, the foe, with fury glowing, 
Rends my glittering shabrack flowing, 
Curb of gold and broidered rein 
Fiercely does he cleave in twain. 

VII. 

And my stately neck is drooping, 
'Neath a fearful burthen stooping — 
There a dead man lies supine, 
Cold as ice — the Form is thine ! 



CONSTANCY. 



CONSTANCY. 



FROM THE RUSSIAN. 



I. 

A raven on a branch is sitting ; 
By him comes another flitting — 
Brother, where so quickly flying? 
Hast thou scented dead or dying? 

n. 

Food and plenty sent to cheer us, 
Croaks the other, we have near us. 
Yonder there, amid the gorse, 
Lies the murdered Baron's corse. 

in. 

Who slew him ? Wherefore ? Woe the day ! 
Did the Baron's falcon say? 
Or the Baron's steed so wild — 
Or the Baron's wife so mild ? 

IV. 

Her flight far off the falcon's winging; 
On the steed a slave is springing ; 
And she ? — by the pale moonlight hath fled 
With the living from the dead. 



INSTABILITY. 



INSTABILITY. 

FROM THE SPANISH.-SIXTEENTH CENTURY: 



" Como estoy alegre 
Tristezas temo." 



When the day is brightest, 
Darkness draweth near ; 
When the heart is lightest, 
Coming grief I fear. 

Eyes of heavenly splendour, 
Radiance o'er me fling ; 
But when their light's most tender 
I fear its vanishing. 

Lips, where passion keepeth 
Holiest incense, bend to mine ; 
But when woman speaketh, 
Who would trust so false a shrine? 

Even in twined caresses 
Where love has woven his spells, 
Of the mutual love that blesses, 
I hear a voice which tells. 

As light with darkness weddeth, 
So must pleasure with annoy, 
And sorrow ever treadeth 
On the doomed path of joy. 



170 



A WARNING. 



A WARNING. 



FROM THE DANISH. 



I. 

Fair Guniver roam'd in the sunset light, 

Through wood and wold, 
In sweet dreams of love, but her heart was bright 

As proven gold. 
Yet ever a voice to the maiden spoke, 
Beware — beware of the false men-folk ! 

II, 

Fair Guniver fished by a lonely stream, 

With silken line, 
And smiled to see in the silvery gleam 

Her image shine. 
Yet ever a voice still whispered there, 
My child, of the false men-folk beware ! 

in. 

Lo ! a Merman rose from the sedgy reeds, 

With glittering eyes, 
And a mantle of pale-green ocean weeds 

Draped kingly- wise; 
And wreath' d with the mist of his flowing hair, 
Was a crown of the river-lotus fair. 



A WAKNING. 



IV. 

Sweet Guniver, said he, in tones that fell 

So low and clear, 
Like music that breathes from the caverned shell 

In the listener's ear : 
I've gazed on thy beauty down deep in the sea, 
And my heart pines away for the love of thee. 

v. 

Yet, I ask thee to grant but one demand, 

Oh ! let me rest 
My burning lips on thy snow-white hand, 

One instant blest : 
And dream not of harm, for a Merman's truth 
Is pure as a maiden's in stainless youth. 

VI. 

Fair Guniver, heed not the tongues that tell 

Of man's vain wile, 
For our artless souls, thou knowest full well, 

Disdain all guile. 
Is it much to ask for thy hand to rest 
One moment, in love, on my throbbing breast? 

VII. 

Tis a gentle prayer, she answered, to sue 

For one alone ; 
So, beautiful Merman, here take the two 

Within thine own ; 
And if, as thou sayest, my hand can bless, 
Place both to thy lips in one love caress. 



172 



A WARNING. 



VIII. 

He took her white hands, and he drew her down, 

With laughter hoarse ; 
But the fishermen weep, for they look upon 

Fair Guniver's corse. 
And still, by her lone grave, the same voice spoke, 
Beware — oh ! beware of the false men-folk ! 



CASSANDRA. 



173 



CASSANDRA. 



FROM SCHILLER. 



Joy in Ilion's hall resoundeth, 

Ere the mighty city fell ; 
Festive hymns of triumph sounded 

With the gold harp's richest swell. 
Each stern warrior rests at last 

From that strife of direst slaughter; 
For the brave Pelides weds 

Royal Priam's loveliest daughter. 

ii. 

Troop on troop, with laurel garlands, 

Slowly swept the bridal train 
Onward to the sacred temple 

Where arose the Thymbrian's fane. 
By them ran, with long hair streaming, 

Ivy-crowned Msenades ; 
One alone, of sorrow dreaming, 

Wandered in her wretchedness. 



in. 

Joyless, while they chant their praises — 
None to soothe her, none to love — 

Did Cassandra tread the mazes 
Of Apollo's laurel grove; 



CASSANDRA. 



To the wild wood's deepest shadow 
Fled the mystic maiden now, 

And she dashed the priestess-fillet 
Wildly from her throbbing brow. 



IV. 

Everywhere are sounds of gladness, 

From each happy heart awoke ; 
I alone must rove in sadness, 

I alone must grief invoke. 
Joy illumes my father's features, 

Garlanded my sisters stand — 
Yet I hear the rushing pinions 

Of Destruction o'er our land. 



Wildly high a torch is flashing, 

But 'tis not from Hymen's hand ; 
Upward see the red stream dashing, 

But 'tis not an altar brand. 
Costly viands, festal dances, 

Wait the bridegroom and the bride 
Yet the Avenger's step advances, 

Who will crush them in their pride 



VI. 



And they mock my prophet wailing, 
And they scorn my words of woe ; 

Fatal gift and unavailing — 
Still I've wandered to and fro, 



CASSANDRA. 



Shunn'd by all the happy round me, 
Scorned by all where'er I trod ; 

Heavily thou hast foredoomed me, 
Oh ! thou mighty Pythian God ! 



VII. 

Why on me was laid the mission : 

Lift the future's mystic shroud? 
Why to me the seer's vision 

'Mid a spirit-darkened crowd ? 
When the mortal arm is weak, 

Wherefore give the prophet's power 
Can it turn the stream, or break 

Clouds of woe that darkly lower? 



VIII. 

Wherefore lift the pall o'ershading 

Dark and dread Futurity? 
Ignorance is joy unfading — 

Knowledge, death and misery. 
Oh ! recall thy mournful mission — 

Take the future from my sight: 
Fatal is the prophet's vision 

To the form that shrines its light. 



IX. 

Give me back the happy blindness, 
Ere my childhood felt thy spell; 

Never sang I in joy's wildness 
Since I heard thy oracle. 



CASSANDRA. 



Clear the future lies before me, 
But the present veiled away : 

Oh ! to life and joy restore me — 
Take thy cruel gift away ! 



x. 

" Never round my perfumed tresses 

May the bridal wreath entwine ; 
'Mid thy temple's drear recesses 

Doomed in loneliness to pine. 
Never o'er my youth of weeping 

Did one happy moment rise — 
Never aught but sorrow reaping 

From thy fatal mysteries. 



XI. 

" See my gay companions round me, 

Blessed with all that love can give ; 
I alone, my youth consuming, 

Live to weep, and weep to live. 
Vain to me the sun, the skies, 

The flowers on the green earth bending. 
Who the joys of life would prize 

That could know their bitter ending ? 



XII. 

" Thou Polyxena art happy 

In thy love's first deep excess ; 
Hellas gives her bravest hero 

To thy young heart's fond caress. 



CASSANDRA. 



Proudly is her bosom heaving, 

Conscious of her bridegroom's love, 

Whilst her dreams of pleasure weaving, 
Envies not the Gods above. 

XIII. 

* And I, too, have trembled gazing 

Upon one my heart adored — 
In his deep eyes' soft appraising 

Reading love's unspoken word. 
Bridal vows I'd fain have uttered, 

Oh, to him how willingly ! 
But there stepped a Stygian spectre 

Nightly between him and me. 



XIV. 

Pale and hideous phantoms haunt me, 

From the realms of Proserpine ; 
Ghastly shades of gloom confront me, 

Everywhere my steps incline ; 
Even in festive scenes of pleasure, 

Stifling bright youth's careless glee — 
Oh ! that I could know the treasure 

Of a young heart's gaiety ! 



xv. 

Ha ! the murderer's steel is beaming ! 

The murderer's eye glares wildly bright 
Whither shall I fly the gleaming 

Of the Futures lurid light? 



CASSANDRA. 



All in Tain I turn my glances — 
Still the vision's ghastly hand 

Points my doom as it advances : 
Death within the stranger's land." 

XVI. 

Does the prophet-maiden falter? 

Hark ! those wild disordered cries 
Slain before the sacred altar, 

Dead the son of Thetis lies. 
Eris shakes her wreathed serpents — 

All the Gods their temples shun— 
And a thunder-cloud is resting 
Heavily on Ilion ! 



UNDINE. 



UNDINE. 



FROM THE DANISH. 



I. 

Undine by the lonely shore, 

In lonely grief, is pacing ; 
The vows her perjured lover swore 

No more with hope retracing. 
Yet none in beauty could compare 

With ocean's bright-haired daughter. 
Her cheek is like the lotus fair 

That lieth on the wetter ; 

ii. 

Her eye is like the azure sky, 

The azure deep reflecteth ; 
Her smile, the glittering lights on high, 

The glittering wave collecteth. 
Her robe of green with many a gem 

And pearl of ocean shineth, 
And round her brow a diadem 

Of rosy coral twineth. 

in. 

Like diamonds scattered here and there, 
The crystal drops are glistening 

Amid her flowing golden hair, 
As thus she paceth listening — 



UNDINE. 



Listening through the silver light, 
The light that lover loveth ; 

Listening through the dark midnight, 
But still no lover coraeth. 



An earthly love her heart enthralls, 

She loves with earth's emotion ; 
For him she left her crystal halls 

Beneath the crystal ocean. 
Abjured them since he placed that day 

The gold ring on her finger, 
Though still the sparkling diamond spray 

Around her robe would linger. 



And she hath gained a human soul, 

The soul of trusting woman ; 
But love hath only taught her dole, 

Through tears she knows the human. 
So from her sisters far apart, 

Her lonely path she taketh, 
With human sorrow in the heart 

That human love forsaketh. 



VI. 

She weaves a crown of dripping reeds, 
On which the moon shines ghastly — 
" A wedding crown my lover needs, 
My pale hands weave it fastly." 



UNDINE. 



She treads a strange and solemn dance, 
The waves around her groaning, 

And mingles, with prophetic sense, 
Her singing with their moaning. 



VII. 

My bridegroom, nought can save thee no 

Since plighted troth is broken — 
The fatal crown awaits thy brow, 

The fatal spell is spoken. 
Thou'rt standing by another bride, 

Before the holy altar — 
V shadowy form at thy side 

Will make thy strong heart falter. 



VIII. 

To her, within the holy church, 

Thy perjured vows art giving ; 
But never shalt thou cross the porch 

Again amidst the living. 
I w r ait thee 'neath the chill cold waves, 

While marriage-bells are tolling ; 
Our bridal chant, 'neath ocean's caves, 

Be ocean's billows rolling." 

IX. 

The bridegroom, in his pride of youth, 
Beside the fair bride standeth — 

Now take her hand to plight thy troth," 
The solemn Priest commandeth. 



182 



UNDINE. 



But lo ! a shadowy form is seen 

Betwixt the bridal greeting, 
A shadowy hand is placed between, 

To hinder theirs from meeting. 

x. 

The priest is mute, the bridegroom pale — 

He knows the sea-nymph's warning ; 
The fair bride trembles 'neath her veil, 

The bridal's turned to mourning. 
No more within the holy church, 

Love's holy vows are giving; 
They bear the bridegroom from the porch — 

The dead amidst the living ! 



Author's Note to Undine. 

These Undines, or Ocean Nymphs, according to the Northern Mytho- 
logy, are gentle, beautiful, harmless creations in the form of woman, but 
without a soul. They can attain this only by union with a mortal, and 
as they have a passionate desire to ascend into the higher life of huma- 
nity, they seek such earthly unions, not guilefully, like the Sirens, but 
lovingly, aspiringly, as the human might aspire to the angel. It is a 
beautiful my thus, and veils a deep and profound meaning. De La Motte 
Fouque has made it familiar to all readers by his exquisite romance of 
" Undine," and Bulwer has revealed some of the hidden truths shadowed 
forth by the fable, in his two novels of " Ernest Maltravers " and M Alice" — 
namely, the power of Love to create an intellect, in fact, a soul in womau . 
For, to the deep-thinking, close -observing psychologist, there is no truth 
more evident than that, under the influence of love, a woman's intellect, 
genius, energy, all the powers of her mind seem capable of infinite expan- 
sion. And j ust in proportion as love has need of them, do the particular 
qualities start into life and unimagined vigour ; be it fortitude, heroism, 
mental energy, even physical courage, love seems to have the power to 
create them all. Nothing is impossible to a woman that loves, as nothing 



UNDINE. 



183 



is impossible to a man who wills. Another truth is symbolised in this 
ocean hieroglyphic — namely, that it is the instinct of a woman's nature 
to aspire, while the instinct of man's nature is to deteriorate— to gravi- 
tate towards the animal, to a lower sphere of existence. Woman always 
loves heavenward ; she has the instinct of ascension like flame and ether. 
Man always loves earthward ; he gravitates to earth, not to spirit : so 
that we may formulize the theory thus ; — Love gives soul to a woman, 
but takes it from a man. This is assuming what, indeed, is true, that 
man always bestows his love, by preference, on fair Undines without 
souls. When united to such he necessarily divides his soul with her, for 
all things in nature tend to an equalization, and as he gives half so he 
loses half. What the result would be if a man of genius wedded a 
priestess of the eternal fire we have no means of ascertaining ; for history 
contains no solitary instance of a man of genius becoming united to his 
equal : that true correlative of his soul, of which Plato speaks, but 
which no one, so destiny seems to decree, shall ever find on earth. 

We may imagine, indeed, the possibility of a beautiful, lofty, soaring 
spirit, standing ever beside man in the combat of life. A serene influ- 
ence, almost as invisible, yet as sustaining as the ether of heaven, filling 
him with all divine impulses, strengthening all his noble aspirations, 
exciting his spirit upwards by all rich and radiant foreshadowings of 
glory, as Minerva stood, bright in deity, yet loving as humanity, beside 
her favorite warrior on the plains of Troy. But this is but a fabulous 
hypothesis ; for, as we have said, man always loves earthward, and 
when united to the soulless Undine, quickly vanishes with her into the 
ocean of inanity. Here is another cryptic meaning in the myth — the 
union is represented as indissoluble. He leaves the human, and descends 
to her sphere — to a lower state of existence. A man without the influ- 
ence of love may rise to any height ; love is not the absolute requirement 
for his elevation, as it is for woman's ; but, bound to an inferior nature, 
he must fall, and does fall invariably, irrecoverably, precisely down to 
her level. There is no hope for him. He cannot resist the fatal miasma 
of commonplace. He falls for ever into the dull abyss of mediocrity. We 
are not proof against any of the daily influences, however trivial, that 
surround us. Always there is a tendency to assimilation, either by 
ascension or deterioration, and Tennyson's proposition is as true in the 
converse, as in the original statement : — 

As the wife is so the husband— he will sink down day by day, 
What is fine within him growing coarse to sympathize with clay. 

And now, as every fable must have a moral, what shall we learn from 
this mythus of the fatal termination of men who "herd with narrow 
foreheads ?" The moral is obvious. Let all genius remain unwed — 

All unmated— all unmated, 
Because so consecrated. 



THE PAST. 



THE PAST. 



From the far-off time of my youthful prime 

A light comes evermore ; 
Oh ! it seems so bright in its far-off light, 

The glory I had of yore. 

What the swallow sang with its silvery clang, 
When autumn and spring were near ; 

What the church bells rung and the choristers s 
The chant and the song I hear. 

Oh ! that parting day when I went away, 

How my heart to joy awoke ! 
And again I came, but, ah ! not the same, 

For the trusting heart was broke. 

Since that parting day — that parting day — 
Through the fair bright world I've ranged, 

And the world is there still as bright and fair — 
But I — 'tis I have changed. 

Oh ! childhood's truth, with its words of sooth, 

And its lips as pure as gold, 
Like a bird it sung, and its untaught tongue 

Was wise as the prophets of old. 



THE PAST. 



185 



Bright home and hearth, in this joyless dearth, 

Could thy holy vision gleam 
But once, once more from the far-off shore 

Of the past, as a heavenly dream ! 

Oh ! the swallow may come from her southern home, 

The spendthrift regain his gold, 
The church bells ring, and the choristers sing 

Again as they did of old; 

But the hopes of youth and its trusting truth, 

And bright sunny laughter gleams, 
Once passsed and o'er, can return no more, 

Except in the land of dreams. 



THE FISHERMAN. 



THE FISHERMAN. 



i. 

The water rushes — the water foams — 

A fisherman sat on the bank, 
And calmly gazed on his flowing line, 

As it down in the deep wave sank. 
The water rushes — the water foams — 

The bright waves part asunder, 
And with wondering eyes he sees arise 

A nymph from the caverns under. 



ii. 

She sprang to him — she sang to him — 

Ah ! wherefore dost thou tempt 
With thy deadly food, my bright-scaled brood 

From out their crystal element? 
Could'st thou but know our joy below, 

Thou would'st leave the harsh, cold land, 
And dwell in our caves 'neath the glittering waves, 

As lord of our sparkling band. 

in. 

See you not now the bright sun bow 

To gaze on his form here ; 
And the pale moon's face wears a softer grace 

In the depths of our silver sphere. 



THE FISHERMAN. 



See the fleecy shroud of the azure cloud 
In the heaven beneath the sea ; 

And look at thine eyes, what a glory lies 
In their lustre. Come, look with me. 

IV. 

The water rushes — the water foams — 

The cool wave kiss'd his feet. 
The maiden's eyes were like azure skies, 

And her voice was low and sweet. 
She sung to him — she clung to him — 

O'er the glittering stream they lean ; 
Half drew she him, half sunk he in, 

And never more was seen. 



THE IDEAL. 



THE IDEAL. 



FROM SCHILLER. 



I. 

So wilt thou, Faithless ! from me sever, 

With all thy brilliant phantasy ? 
Will all thy joys and sorrows never 

For prayers or tears come back to me ? 
Oh, golden time of youthful life ! 

Can nothing, Swift One, stay thy motion ? 
In vain! thy waves, with ruthless strife, 

Flow on to the eternal ocean. 

ii. 

Quenched are the glorious suns that glowing 

Bright o'er my youthful pathway shone, 
And thoughts the prescient heart o'erflowing 

With burning inspirations, gone. 
For ever fled the trusting faith 

In visions of my youthful dreaming, 
Reality has risen to scathe 

Their all too fair and godlike gleaming. 



THE IDEAL, 



III. 

As once with wild desire entreating, 

Pygmalion the stone enclasped, 
'Till o'er the marble pale lips fleeting 

Life, hope, and passion glowed at last ; 
So, around Nature's cold form weaving 

My youthful arms, her lips I pressed, 
Until her lifeless bosom heaving, 

Throbbed lifelike on my poet-breast. 



An answering chord to passion's lyre 

Within her silent frame I woke; 
She gave me back my kiss of fire, 

And in my heart's deep language spoke. 
Then lived for me the tree, the flower, 

The silver streams in music sang ; 
All soulless things in that bright hour, 

With echoes of my spirit rang. 



The while it sought with eager strife, 

To clasp* Creation with its arm, 
And spring incarnated to life 

In deed, or word, or sound, or form. 
How glorious then the world upfolded, 

Within its shrouding calyx seen ! 
How little when Time's hand unroll'd it ! 

That little, oh ! how poor and mean ! 



THE IDEAL. 



But, as the wayward, rippling motion 

' Of some bright rock-stream gathers strength, 
Until, in kingly waves of ocean, 

It dashes down the height at length : 
With storm, and sound, and power, crushing 

The granite rock, or giant tree ; 
Proud in its chainless fury rushing, 

To mingle with the rolling sea. 



VII. 

So, filled with an immortal daring, 

No chains of care around his form, 
Hope's impress on his forehead bearing, 

The youth sprang forth amid Life's storm. 
Ev'n to dim ether's palest star 

Wing'd fancy bore him on untiring ; 
Nought was too high, and nought too far, 

For those strong pinions' wild aspiring ! 



VIII. 

How swiftly did they bear him, dashing 

Through all youth's fiery heart could dare ! 
How danced before life's chariot flashing 

Bright aeriel visions there ! 
Love in her sweetest beauty gleaming, 

Fortune with golden diadem crown'd, 
Truth like the glittering sunlight streaming, 

Fame with her starry circlet bound ! 



THE [DEAL. 



IX. 

Alas ! those bright companions guided 

Through only half of life's dark way; 
All false and fleeting, none abided, 

With the lone wanderer to stray 
First light, capricious Fortune vanished — 

Still love of lore consumed his youth; 
But doubt's dark tempest rose and banished 

The sun-bright form of radiant Truth. 

x. 

I saw the sacred crown degraded, 

Of Fame, upon a common brow — 
And, ah ! 'ere yet life's summer faded, 

I saw Love's sweetest spring-flowers bow. 
And ever silenter, and ever 

Lonelier grew the dreary way — 
Scarce even could hope, with frail endeavour, 

Shed o'er the gloom a ghastly ray. 

XI. 

But who, amid the train false-hearted, 

Stayed lovingly with me to roam — 
Still from my side remains unparted, 

And follows to my last dark home? 
Thou, who with joys and sorrows blending, 

Thy gentle hand to soothe each wound, 
And bear life's burdens, ever lending, 

Thou, Friendship, early sought and found. 



THE IDEAL. 



And thou, with Friendship wedded ever, 

To calm the tempest of the soul — 
Exhaustless study ! wearying never, 

Creating while the ages roll. 
Still the world-temple calm uprearing, 

Tho' grain on grain thou can'st but lay, 
And striking, with a ceaseless daring, 

Time's minutes, days, and years away. 



THE EXILE 



193 



THE EXILE. 



i. 

Spring's sweet odours from the meadow 

Fling their fragrance far and wide, 
And the tall trees cast the shadow 

Of the winter's gloom aside; 
But for me no spring is bearing 
Gladness to my heart despairing ; 
Comes no more with soothing power 

Kindly voice, or friendly hand, 
Song of home, or breath of flower, 

From my own dear native land. 

ii. 

High in Heaven, circling nightly, 

Moon and stars shine overhead ; 
Mighty rivers rush on brightly 

To the ocean's distant bed ; 
But for me, in sorrow pining, 
Star and stream in vain are shining, 
Foreign skies are drear above me, 

By a foreign shore I stand, 
Thinking of the friends that love me, 

In my own dear far-off land. 



THE FATE OF THE LYRIST. 



THE FATE OF THE LYRIST. 



The soul is ever clinging unto form ; 
Action, not abstract thought, alone can warm 
The great heart of Humanity — in life's fierce storm 
Pass they the Lyrist by. 

The Dramatist may wear triumphant bays ; 
And see the wondering people's tranc'd amaze, 
The while unrolls great Homer to their gaze, 
His gorgeous, many-coloured tapestry. 

But lofty Pindar's heaven-directed flight, 
Petrarca's song, mystic and sad as night, 
Fall dull upon the common ear — their might 
Is to the world a mystery. 

Such spirits dwell but with the spiritual — 
Their godlike souls disdaining to enthrall : 
Within the limits of the actual, 

Men pass, unheeding the divinity. 

Their name, indeed, is echoed by the crowd ; 
But from amidst the masses earthward bowed, 
Few lift the head, with kindred soul endowed, 
To list their Orphic melody. 



THE POET'S DESTINY. 



195 



THE POET'S DESTINY. 



The Priest of Beauty, the Anointed One, 

Through the wide world passes the Poet on. 

All that is noble by his word is crown'd, 

But on his brow th' Acanthus wreath is bound. 

Eternal temples rise beneath his hand, 

While his own griefs are written in the sand ; 

He plants the blooming gardens, trails the vine — 

But others wear the flowers, drink the wine ; 

He plunges in the depths of life to seek 

Rich joys for other hearts — his own may break. 

Like the poor diver beneath Indian skies, 

He flings the pearl upon the shore — and dies ! 



DEATH WISHES. 



DEATH WISHES. 



Oh ! might I pass as the evening ray 
Melts in the deepening twilight away ; 
Calmly and gently thus would I die, 
Untainted by ills of mortality. 

Oh ! might I pass as the silver star 

That glitters in radiant light afar, 

Thus silent and sorrowless fade from sight, 

Lost in the deep blue ether of night. 

Oh ! might I pass as the fragrant breath 
Springing from violets crushed to death, 
And rise from the dull, cold earthly sod, 
As an incense-cloud to the throne of God. 

Oh ! might I pass as the morning showers 
Drank by the sun from the cups of flowers 
Would that the fire of eternal love 
Thus exhaled my life-weary soul above ! 

Oh! might I pass as JEolian notes, 
When over the chords the soft wind floats; 
But ere the silver strings are at rest, 
Find an echo w 7 ithin the Creator's breast. 



DEATH WISHES. 



197 



" Thou wilt not pass in music or light, 
Nor silently sink in the ether of night, 
Nor die the gentle death of the flower, 
Nor be drank by the sun like a morning shower. 

" Thou wilt pass, but not till thy beauty is withered, 
Not till thy powers and hopes lie shivered : 
Silence and beauty are Nature's death-token ; 
But the poor human heart, ere it die — must be 
broken !" 



198 



DISILLUSION. 



DISILLUSION. 



Too soon, alas! too soon I plunged into the world with 

tone and clang, 
And they scarcely comprehended what the Poet wildly 

sang. 

Not the spirit-glance deep gazing into nature's inmost soul, 
Not the mystic aspirations that the Poet's words unroll. 
Cold and spiritless and silent — yea, with scorn received 
they me, 

Whilst on meaner brows around me wreath'd the laurel 
crown I see. 

And I, who in my bosom felt the godlike nature glow, 
I wore the mask of folly while I sang of deepest woe. 
But, courage ! years may pass — this mortal frame be laid 
in earth, 

But my spirit reign triumphant in the country of my birth ! 



HYMN TO THE CROSS. 



HYMN TO THE CROSS. 



SAVONAROLA. 



Jesus, refuge of the weary, 

Object of the spirit's love, 
Fountain in life's desert dreary, 

Saviour from the world above ! 

Oh, how oft Thine eyes, offended, 
Gazed upon the sinner's fall ; 

Yet, Thou on the Cross extended, 
Bore the penalty of all ! 

For our human sake enduring 

Tortures infinite in pain ; 
By Thy death our life assuring, 

Conquerors through Thee we reign. 

Still we passed the Cross in scorn, 
Breathing no repentant vow, 

Though from 'neath the circling thorn, 
Dropped the blood-sweat of Thy brow. 

Yet, Thy sinless death hath brought us 
Life eternal, peace, and rest; 

What Thy grace alone hath taught us, 
Calms the sinner's stormy breast. 



HYMN TO THE CROSS. 



Jesus, would my heart were burning 
With more vivid love for Thee ! 

Would mine eyes were ever turning 
To Thy Cross of agony ! 

Would that on that Cross suspended 
I the martyr's palm might win — 

Where the Lord, the heaven-descended, 
Sinless suffered for my sin ! 

Cross of torture ! may'st thou rend me 
With thy fierce, unearthly dole ; 

Welcome be the pangs that lend me 
Strength to crush sin in my soul. 

So, in pain and rapture blending, 
Might my fading eyes grow dim, 

While the freed heart rose, ascending 
To the circling Seraphim. 

Then in glory, parted never 
From the blessed Saviour's side, 

Graven on my heart for ever 
Be the Cross, and Crucified ! 



JESUS TO THE SOUL. 



201 



JESUS TO THE SOUL. 



SAVONAROLA. 



Fair Soul, created in the primal hour, 

Once pure and grand, 
And for whose sake I left my throne and power 

At God's right hand — 
By this sad heart, pierced through because I love thee, 
Let love and mercy to contrition move thee. 

Cast off the sins thy holy beauty veiling, 

Spirit divine ! 
Vain against thee the hosts of hell assailing — 

My strength is thine. 
Drink from my side the wine of life immortal, 
And love will lead thee back to Heaven's portal. 

Quench in my light the flame of low desire, 

Crush doubt and fear; 
Even to my glory may each soul aspire, 

If victor here. 
Die now to earth, with earthly vanity, 
And live for evermore in Heaven with me. 



202 



JESUS TO THE SOUL. 



I, for thy sake, was pierced with many sorrows, 

And bore the Cross ; 
Yet heeded not the galling of the arrows, 

The shame or loss. 
So, faint not thou, whate'er the burden be, 
Bear with it bravely, even to Calvary. 

Still shall my spirit urge if thou delayest, 

My hand sustain ; 
My blood wash out thy errors if thou strayest — 

Plead I in vain ? 
An hour is coming when the judgment loometh; 
Repent, fair soul, ere yet that hour cometh. 



[The Italian original of these two beautiful Hymns will be found in 
Doctor Madden's most admirable and interesting life of Savonarola.] 



TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. 



TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. 

THE LOVE SIX. 



None, unless the saints above, 
Knew the secret of their love ; 
For with calm and stately grace 
Isolde held her queenly place, 
Tho' the courtiers' hundred eyes 
Sought the lovers to surprise, 
Or to read the mysteries 
Of a love, so rumour said, 
By a magic philtre fed, 
Which for ever in their veins 
Burn'd with love's consuming pains. 



Yet their hands would twine unseen, 

In a clasp 'twere hard to sever ; 
And whoso watched their glances meet, 

Gazing as they'd gaze for ever, 
Might have marked the sudden heat 
Crims'ning on each flushing cheek, 
As the telltale blood would speak 
Of love that never should have been — 
The love of Tristan and his Queen. 



204 



TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. 



Eut, what hinders that the two, 
In the spring of their young life, 

Love each other as they do? 

Thus the tempting thoughts begin — 

Little recked they of the sin ; 

Nature joined them hand in hand, 

Is not that a truer band 

Than the formal name of wife? 

Ah ! what happy hours were theirs ! 

One might note them at the feast 
Laughing low to loving airs, 

Loving airs that pleased them best ; 
Or interchanging the swift glance 
In the mazes of the dance. 
So the sunny moments rolled, 
And they wove bright threads of gold 

Through the common web of life ; 
Never dreaming of annoy, 

Or the wild world's wicked strife; 
Painting earth and heaven above 

In the light of their own joy, 
In the purple light of love. 

Happy moments, which again 
Brought sweet torments in their train : 
All love's petulance and fears, 
Wayward doubts and tender tears, 
Little jealousies and pride, 
That can loving hearts divide ; 
Murmured vow and clinging kiss, 
Working often bane as bliss ; 



TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. 



205 



All the wild, capricious changes 
Through which lovers' passion ranges. 
Yet would love, in every mood, 
Find Heaven's manna for its food ; 
For love will grow wan and cold, 
And die ere ever it is old, 
That is never assailed by fears, 
Or steeped in repentant tears, 
Or passed through the fire like gold. 

So loved Tristan and Isolde, 
In youth's sunny, golden time, 
In the brightness of their prime; 
Little dreaming hours would come, 
Like pale shadows from the tomb, 
When an open death of doom 
Had been still less hard to bear, 
Than the ghastly, cold despair 
Of those hidden vows, whose smart 
Pale the cheek, and break the heart. 



t 



THEEXA 



THEKLA. 



A SWEDISH SAGA. 



THE TEMPTATION. 

On the green sward Thekla s lying, 
Summer winds are round her sighin 

At her feet the ocean plays ; 
In that mirror idly gazing 
She beholds, with inward praising, 

Her own beauty in amaze. 

And with winds and waves attuning 
Her low voice, in soft communing 

Said: "If truly I'm so fair, 
Might the best in our Swedish land 
Die all for love of my white hand, 

Azure eyes and golden hair." 

And fair Thekla bent down gazing, 
Light her golden curls upraising 

From her bosom fair to see, 
Which, within the azure ocean, 
Glittered back in soft commotion, 

Like a hjtus tremblingly. 



THEKLA 



Saying soft, with pleasure trembling, 
"If so fair is the resembling, 

How much fairer I most be ! 
Rose-lipped shadow, smiling brightly, 
Are we angels floating lightly 

Through the azure air and sea? 



" Oh ! that beauty never faded, 
That years passing never shaded 

Youthful cheek with hues of age ! 
Oh ! thou fairest crystal form, 
Can we not time's hand disarm T* 

Hark ! the winds begin to rage ; 



And with onward heaving motion 
Rise the waves in wild commotion — 

Spirits mournfullest they seem 
Round the crystal shadow plaining, 
Shivered, shattered, fades it waning 

From the maiden like a dream. 



And from midst the drooping oziers 
Of the sunny banks' enclosures 

Rose a woman weird to see • 
Strange her mein and antique vesture, 
Yet with friendly look and gesture 

To the trembling girl spake she. 



208 



THEKLA. 



" As the cruel winds bereft thee 
Of the shadow that hath left thee, 

Maiden, will thy children steal 
One by one these treasures from thee, 
Till all beauty hath foregone thee : 

Mother's woe is children's weal. 



" For the beauty of the mother 
Is the children's — sister, brother, 
As she fades away, will bloom. 
Mother's eyes grow dim by weeping, 
Wan her cheek, lone vigils keeping: 
Youthful virgin, 'ware your doom ! 



" Wifely name is sweet from lover, 
Yet ere many years are over, 

From the fatal day you wed, 
Sore you'll rue the holy altar, 
And the salt sea will grow salter 

For the bitter tears you'll shed. 



" See the pallid cheek reflected, 
Hollow, sunken eyes dejected, 

Look of weary, wasting pain ; 
All changed for thy beauty rarest : 
Maiden, tell me, if thou darest 

Then come here, and look again, 



THEKLA. 



' But should lovers' pleadings gain thee, 
Haste thee quick and I will sain thee 

Ere the marriage vows are said ; 
By the might of magic power, 
I can save thee from the hour 

Of a mother's anguish dread." 

Answered Thekla: " Save me ! save me 
Witch or woman, then I crave thee, 

From a mothers fated doom ! 
So my beauty never fading 
Thou canst make with magic aiding, 

Fatal Mother, I shall come." 



THE SIN. 

'Neath the casement stood a Ritter, 

Sings by night with sweetest tone : 
Thekla, dearest Thekla, listen, 
Wilt thou be my bride, mine own? 

Castles have I, parks and forests, 
Mountains veined with the red gold ; 

And a heart that pineth for thee, 
With a w r ealth of love untold. 

I will deck my love in jewels, 

Gold and pearl on brow and hand, 

Broidered robes and costly girdles, 
From the far-off Paynim land. 



210 



THEKLA. 



" Here I hang upon the rose-tree, 
Love, a little golden ring ; 
Wilt thou take it ? wilt thou wear it, 
Love?" Thus did the Hitter sing. 

Then upon his black steed mounting, 
Kissed his hand and doffed his plume. 

Lovely Thekla stole down gently, 
Sought the gold ring in the gloom. 

" Little ring, wilt thou deceive me ? 
Like the rose dost hide a thorn?" 
As she takes it, close beside her 
Sounds a ringing laugh of scorn. 

And the fatal Mother, mocking, 
Points her finger to the ring : 
" What, my maiden ! sold thy beauty 
For that paltry glittering thing? 

" Plucked the bauble from a rose-tree? 
Ring and rose and doom in all ; 
Roses bright from cheek of beauty, 
Roses bright must fade and fall. 

" Wilt thou follow me?" They glided 
Over heath, through moor and wood, 
Till beside an ancient windmill, 
In the lone, dark night they stood. 



THEKLA. 



211 



Ail the mighty wheels were silent, 
All the giant arms lay still — 
" Bride and wife, but never mother, 
Maiden, swear, is such thy will ? 

" Dost swear?" " I swear !" They glided 
Up the stairs and through the door, 
With her wand the magic Mother 
Draws a circle on the floor. 



Grains of yellow corn, seven, 
Takes she from a sack beside, 

Draws the gold ring of her lover 
From the finger of the bride. — 

" Seven children would have stolen 
Light and beauty from thine eyes, 
But as I cast the yellow corn 

Through thy gold ring, each one dies." 

Slowly creaked the mill, then faster 
Whirled the giant arms on high ; 

Shuddering, hears the trembling maiden 
Crushing bones, and infant's cry. 

Now there is a deathlike silence, 
Thekla hears her heart alone — 

Again the weird one flings the corn, 
Again that plaintive infant's moan. 



212 



THEKLA. 



Two — three— four — the mill goes faster, 
Whirling, crushing. — Ah ! those cries ! 
" Bride, thou'lt never be a mother; 

Thy beauty's saved — the seventh dies ! " 

Seven turns the mill hath taken, 
Seven moans hath Thekla heard ; 

Then all is still. The moon from Heaven 
Shines down calm upon the sward. 



" Now take back thy ring in safety ; 
Mother's joy or mother's woe, 
Wasting pain or fading beauty, 
Maiden, thou shalt never know ! 



" Home, before the morning hour !" 
Home in terror Thekla flies, 
Shuddering, she hears behind her 
Laugh of scorn, infants' cries. 



THE BRIDAL. 

The guests have met in the castle hall. 

Who rides through the castle gate, 
With banner and plume ? The young bridegroom 

And a hundred knights in state. 



THEKLA. 



213 



The guests have met in procession fair, 

Around the bride they stand ; 
The myrtle wreath on her golden hair, 

The bride ring on her hand. 

So bright her beauty she dazed men's eyes, 
Like the blinding, glorious sun. 
" Never knight," they murmured, " gained such prize 
Since ever the world begun." 

Seven maidens held up her train of white, 

Inwrought with the precious gold, 
And over it flowed in a stream of light 

Her long, bright hair unrolled. 

Seven pages, each with a lighted torch, 

Precede her as she moves 
With the long array to the ancient church 

Within the beechen groves. 

The priest stood mute with the holy book, 

And scarce could utter a prayer, 
As that lovely vision of light and youth 

Knelt down before him there. 

She vows the vows. Erick bends to place 

The gold ring on her hand, 
Prouder then, as he gazed on her face, 

Than if King of the Swedish land. 



214 



THEKLA. 



The lights were bright in the hall that night, 

But brighter Thekla's glance, 
As in wedded pride, by Erick's side, 

She led the bridal dance. 

" Drink ! and wave high the flaming pines ; 
God bless the bride so fair ! 
May a goodly race, like clustering vines, 
Twine round the wedded pair ! " 

The " vivas " rung for the noble race, 
Till they stirred the banners of gold. 

And the bridegroom bow'd with a stately grace ; 
But the bride sat mute and cold — 

For the air seemed heavy as that of graves, 
And the lights burned lurid and chill; 

And she hears the dash of the far-off waves.. 
And the creak of the mighty mill. 

The "vivas " sound like an infant's wail, 
Or a demon's laugh of scorn. 
" Oh ! would to God," she murmured, all pale^ 
" That I had never been born ! " 



THE PUNISHMENT. 

Full seven years have passed and flown — 
But years o'er Thekla lightly pass, 

As rose leaves, falling one by one, 
From roses on the summer grass. 



THEKLA. 



It is our bridal day," she said ; 
" We're bidden to a christening feast; 
I'll wear the robe I had when wed, 
The robe I love of all the best. 

I'll wear my crown of jewels rare: 
On brow and bosom let them shine ; 

Yet diamonds in my golden hair 

Were dull beside these eyes of mine ! 

She laughed aloud before the glass. 

" Some women's hair would turn to g 
With cares, ere half the years did pass 

I've numbered since my wedding day 

' But they were mothers — fools I trow. 
Life's current all too quickly runs; 
I would not give my beauty now 
For all their goodly race of sons." 

She sprang upon her pal fry white, 
While Erick held the broidered rein, 

And showered down her veil of light 
Upon the flowing, silky mane. 

The guests rose up in wonderment — 
Such beauty never had been seen — 

And bowed before her as she went, 
As if she were a crowned queen. 



216 



THEKLA. 



The knights pressed round with words of praise, 
And murmured homage in her ear, 

And swore to serve her all their days, 
E en die for her — would she but hear. 

But vainly, all in vain they sought 
One answering smile of love to win. 

Upon her soul there lieth nought 
Save that one only, deadly sin. 

" I pray you now I fain would have 
So fair an angel hold my child," 
The mother said ; and smiling, gave 
To Thekla's arms her infant mild. 

Advancing slow, with stately air, 
Beside the font she took her place, 

The infant, like a rosebud fair, 
Nestling amid her bosom's lace. 

She lays it on the bishop's arm, 

The while he makes the blessed sign, 

And sains it safe from ghostly harm 
By Father, Spirit, Son Divine. 

Then reaches out her hands again 
To take it — but with moaning sound, 

Like one distraught with sudden pain, 
Falls pale and fainting to the ground, 



THEKLA. 



She has no children," Erick said, 

As pleading for the strange mischance 

This only grief since we were wed 

Has saddened sore her life, perchance." 

She has no children," murmured low 
The happy mothers, gathered near; 

No child to love her — bitter woe ; 
No child to kiss her on her bier ! " 

But graver matrons shook the head : 
" That witchlike beauty bodes no good ; 

Witch hands can never hold, 'tis said, 
A child just blessed by holy rood." 

They raised her up; she spake no word, 
But slowly drooped her tearful eyes; 

The rushing wave was all she heard, 
The whirling wheels, the infants' cries. 

And Erick said, with bitter smile: 
" You play the mother all too ill; 

Madonnas do not suit your style." 

Her thoughts were by the lonely mill. 

They set her on her palfry white ; 

She heeds not all their taunting sneers, 
But showers down her veil of light, 

To hide the conscious, guilty tears. 



THEKLA. 



They rode through all his vast estate, 
But rode in silence — he behind, 

Sore pondering on his childless fate, 
With ruffled brow and moody mind. 

They rode through shadowy forest glades, 
By meadows filled with lowing kine, 

By streams that ran like silver threads 

Down from the dark -fringed hills of pine. 

Alas ! " he thought, " no child of mine 
When I am dead shall take my place ; 

Must all the wealth of all my line 
Pass to a hated kinsman's race ? 

Now, by my sword, I'd give up all, 
Wealth, fame, and glory, all I've won, 

So that within my father's hall 
Beside me stood a noble son ! " 

He saw her white veil floating back 
Along the twilight gray and still, 

Like ghostly shadows on her track — 
Her thoughts were by the lonely mill. 

And now they neared the ancient church, 
The ancient church where they were wed 

The moonlight full upon the porch 

Shone bright, and Erick raised his head. 



THEKLA. 



O Heaven ! There upon the lawn 
The palfrey's shadow stands out clear, 

But Thekla's shadow — it is gone ! 
Nor form nor floating veil is there. 

He spurred his steed with bitter cry: 

" Could she have fallen in deathly swoon?" 

But no, there, slowly riding by, 

He sees her by the bright full moon. 

With gesture fierce he seized her rein: 
" Woman or fiend ! Look if you dare, 

The palfrey casts a shadow plain, 

But yours — O horror ! — is not there !" 

She gathered close her silken veil, 

And wrung her hands, and prayed for grace, 
While down from Heaven the calm moon pale 

Looked like God's own accusing face. 

He flung aside the broidered rein : 
" O woe the day that we were wed ! 

A witch bride to my arms I've ta'en, 
Branded by God's own finger dread." 

She followed, weeping, step by step, 
Led by the unseen hand of Fate, 

Still keeping in the shadows deep, 
Until they reached the castle gate. 



220 



THEKLA. 



He strode across the corridor, 

And rolling back upon its ring 
The curtain of her chamber door, 

He motioned her to enter in. 

She laid aside her silken veil, 

The golden circlet from her head, 

And waited, motionless and pale, 
Like one uprisen from the dead. 

Could she deny, e'en if she would? 

The moonlight wrapped her like a sheet, 
And in the accusing light she stood, 

As if before God's judgment-seat. 

Brief were his questions, stern his wrath ; 

A doom seemed laid on her to tell, 
How, with the ring of plighted troth, 

Her hand had wrought the murd'rous spell. 

How she had marred his ancient line, 

And broke the life-chord that should bless, 

And sent the seven fair souls to pine 
Back to the shades of nothingness — 

That so her beauty might not wane, 
Her glorious beauty — fatal good ; 

Yet one she would not lose to gain 
The rights of sacred motherhood. 



THEKLA. 



And still she told the tale as cold — 
The witch-fire burning in her eyes — 

As if it were some legend old, 
Drawn from a poet's memories. 

He cursed her in his bitter wrath, 
He cursed her by her children dead, 

He cursed the ring of plighted troth, 
He cursed the day when they were wed. 

Fierce and more fierce his accents rose : 
" Away !" he cried, " false hag of sin; 

I see through all this painted gloze 
The black and hideous soul within. 

Oh ! false and foul, thou art to me 

A devil — not a woman fair ; 
Like coiling snakes I seem to see 

Each twisted tress of golden hair. 

I hate thee, as I hate God's foe. 

Forth from my castle halls this night: 
I could not breathe the air, if so 

Thy poison breath were here to blight." 

She cowered, shivered, spake no word, 
But fell before him at his feet, 

As if an angel of the Lord 

Had smote her at the judgment-seat. 



THEKLA. 



And on her heart there came at last 
The dread, deep consciousness of sin, 

That ghastly spectre which had cast 
Upon her life this suffering. 

And from her hand the gold ring fell — 
Her wedding ring — and broke in twain ; 

The fatal ring that wrought the spell, 
The accursed ring of love and pain. 

The spell seemed broken then ; the word 
Came, softly breath'd: " Oh, pardon ! grace 

And pleadingly to her dread lord 
She lifted up her angel face — 

With golden tresses all unbound, 

Still lovely through her shame and loss, 

Around his feet her arms she wound, 
As sinner might around the cross. 

He dashed her twining hands aside, 
He spurned her from him as she knelt. 
4 O hateful beauty !" Erick cried, 
" The source of all thy hellish guilt. 

' Pray for a cloud that can eclipse 

That long, white streak of moonlight pale. 
No word of grace from mortal lips 
Can bring a ruined soul from Hell. 



THEKLA. 



223 



" Away ! I would not pardon, not 
(I swear it by the holy rood) 
Unless upon that hated spot 
An angel with a lily stood !" 

She shuddered in the moonlight pale, 

That doomed and banned her from his sight, 

Then rose up with a bitter wail, 
And fled away into the night ! 



THE EXPIATION. 

Full seven times the summer sun 

Had waked the dreaming summer flowers, 
And seven times they slept again 

Beneath the winter snow and showers; 
And still, through summer's parching heat, 

Through winter's storm, and rain, and snow, 
Had Thekla dragged her weary feet 

In one long pilgrimage of woe. 

The beasts fled back at her approach, 

The sunshine ceased to flicker round, 
The flowers withered at her touch, 

And fell like corpses to the ground. 
Where'er she passed there lay a gloom, 

The young birds shivered in the nest, 
All nature echoed back her doom, 

And spurned the sinner from her breast. 



THEKLA. 



She flung her sighs out to the wind : 

The peasants heard that mournful wail, 
And, crouching down by winter fires, 

Said: " 'Tis the witch-fiend in the vale." 
They laid down food beneath the trees, 

And waited, trembling, till she came, 
Then fled away, for none would speak 

To one so bann'd by sin and shame. 

She gathered autumn leaves and moss, 

Within a cavern lone and deep, 
And there she crept each night to rest. 

To rest, but never more to sleep. 
No human voice came near to soothe, 

Her anguish dimm'd no human eye, 
The bond of sisterhood was rent 

Between her and Humanity. 

But ever when the moon was full, 

All in the moonlight weird and still 
Came evermore upon her ear 

The moanings by the lonely mill ; 
And seven dread shadows entered in 

And gathered round her lowly bed, 
The ghastly witnesses of sin, 

A silent, freezing sight of dread. 

All night they stayed, those phantoms pale, 
Those formless phantoms dim and drear, 

And looked at her with fixed cold eyes, 
That chilled her very blood with fear. 



THEKLA. 



In vain she tried to hide her face ; 

She felt their presence still around, 
And well she knew no pitying grace 

From these dread beings could be found. 



She could not weep, she dare not pray, 

But lay like one in coffined clay, 

Till those weird phantoms, one by one, 
Melted away in the morning sun, 

Which fell like the light of the judgment-day, 
When the doom of the Lord is done. 



Oft wandering round the ancient church, 
The ruined church where they were wed, 

She vainly tried to cross the porch, 
And lay therein her weary head ; 

And her weary load of shame and sin 

Upon the altar steps within. 



But never, since the fatal night 
She fled away from Erick's sight, 
Curs'd with his ban of deepest hate, 
Had human hand unbarred the gate ; 
Nor priest nor chorister was there, 
Nor sacred rite nor holy prayer : 
Foredoomed and desolate it stood 
All in the lonelv beechen wood. 



226 



THEKLA. 



God's curse it is a bitter thing 

To fall on a human soul, 
Alone with its awful su^Fering, 

With its deadly sin and dole ; 
? Mid the ghastly wrecks of a human life, 

And memories of shame, 
When thoughts of a past that would not sleep 

Like barbed arrows came. 



GOD'S JUSTICE. 

And Erick roamed in distant lands, 

But cannot fly his w^eary fate ; 
Before him in the lonely night, 
Before him in the noonday bright, 
His guilty wife for ever stands, 

A thing of loathing and of hate. 
Alone, as under blight and ban, 
He roams, a saddened, weary man. 

Yet, yearnings came to him at last, 

And, drawn as by a spirit hand, 
He homeward turned, his wanderings passed, 

To his own distant Swedish land ; 
And rose up with a spirit grace, 

As pleading to him for her life, 
Before him, with her angel face, 

His beautiful, his sinning wife. 



THLEKLA. 



The ship sailed fast through storm and wrack, 
The ship sailed slow the Isles between, 

And Erick, watching on the deck, 
Saw rise before him. low and green, 

The Swedish shores in level lines, 

The fringed shores of lordly pines: 
A spirit's touch, a spirit's power, 
Seemed on him at that magic hour. 

******* 

He stood w r ithin his castle halls, 

The grass grew rank around the gate, 
The weeds hung from the mouldering walls, 

And all around was desolate. 
The bridal room was closed from sight, 

For none had dared to enter in, 
Since by God's awful, searching light 

The sinner had confessed her sin. 

Her golden ring of hellish ban 

Still lay upon the marble floor, 
Her broken ring — the fatal sign 

Of love that could return no more. 
And nought the purple curtains stirred 

Save the drear night-wind's mournful gust, 
And golden crown and silken veil 

Lay mouldering in the silent dust. 

A bitter cry, a mournful cry, 

Was wrung by grief from Erick's breast. 
She sinned, he said, but suffered, too, 
Could penitence the sin undo, 



THEKLA. 



Her sinning soul had rest. 
If God can pity, why should I 
Relentless doom a soul to die 

Unpardoned, and unblest? 

Christ did not scorn the sinner's touch : 
Shall man avenge sin overmuch, 

And crush the heart woe-riven ? 
Fain would I say one word of grace 
Ere yet I meet her face to face, 

Before the throne in Heaven. 

Then led as by a spirit's might, 
He wandered forth into the night, 
And rested not until he stood 
By the lone Chapel in the wood. 

And she that night in bitter woe, 

Low kneeling by the closed gate, 
Poured out the grief those only know 

By God and man left desolate. 
Nought but the scared owl heard her moan 

Of inarticulate agony, 
As down upon the threshold stone 

She sank, and prayed that she might die. 

O piteous sound of vain despair, 

That mournful wailing by the gate; 

That wailing of a ruined soul, 
Downfallen from its high estate ! 



THEKLA. 



She wrung her wasted hands the while, 
And pressed her forehead to the bar, 

As if within that holy aisle 

Gods pardon yet might come to her. 

The cruel moon lit up the sward, 
And pierced the guilty soul within 

That blighted form, all seared and marred 
With deadly consciousness of sin; 

The form that threw no shadow more 

Beside Gods holy temple door; 

And the awful moon, sharp, cold, and clear, 

Struck through her like the Avengers spear. 

O saddest sight beneath its light, 
That humbled, suffering creature ! 

For all too heavy lay the doom 
Upon her human nature. 

The curse of sin that none forego, 
The agony, the pain, the strife, 
The sullied soul, the wasted life, 

Sin's endless heritage of woe. 

She prayed as only those can pray 

Who pray to be forgiven ; 
She wept as only those can weep 

Who fear to forfeit Heaven. 
With outstretched hands and streaming eyes 

She pleads to Heaven, imploring, 
As if her cries could pierce the skies, 

Where angels stand adoring. 



THEKLA. 



O writhing hands ! O wasted hands ! 

Flung out with frenzied gesture, 
As if they fain would touch the hem 

Of Christ's fair flowing vesture. 
Bitter the dole of that sinning soul, 

Outcast of Earth and Heaven ; 
And her cry went up like a wail from Hell, 

Across the night- wind driven. 



GOD'S MERCY. 

A form stood by her in the night, 

A human presence near her 
Spoke one low word of pitying grace, 
A name once uttered face to face, 

When none was ever dearer — 
Like oil upon the raging flame 
That burned within her heart, it came, 

That word of soft approving; 
The first soft word that struck her ears, 
Through all the long and dreary years, 

Of human or of loving. 

At once the barred gate opens wide, 
They pass within it, side by side — 

The human hand still leading ; 
Up through the ruined aisle they go, 
When from the altar, still and slow, 

Like angels onward treading, 
Came seven fair spirits robed in w T hite, 
Each holding high a torch, whose light 



THEKLA. 



Lit all the dark with splendour; 
And the heavy air around was stirred, 
As if from an iEolian chord, 

With music low and tender. 

We come from God," they murmured low, 
" Thy unborn children, seven, 
To break the bonds of thy bitter woe 

And lead thee back to Heaven. 
Thy tears have washed away thy crime, 
Thou hast repented while 'tis time, 

The sinner is forgiven ! 

The bond is loosed, the doom is done, 
We come to thee, thou sinning one, 

With words of peace and pardon; 
And as a sign of mercy lay 
Upon thee on thy dying day 

A lily as God's guerdon." 

She sank before them on the ground, 
With folded palms and hair unbound, 

And eyes upraised to Heaven. 
Her pale lips moved as if to pray, 
But one low murmured word they say — 

" Forgiven ! oh, forgiven ! " 

And lo ! while yet the shadows speak, 

A dove with lily in its beak, 

A snow-white dove, came floating in, 

Along the silver line of light, 
And laid upon that breast of sin 

A spotless lily, pure and white. 



THEKLA. 

Then bending low at Erick's feet, 
As if before the Mercy-seat, 
" Pardon ! " she said, " by God's own sign, 
I claim from thee that word divine 

Before the Judgment-day ; 
Bend lower down, and yet more low, 
That I may feel thy soft tears flow 

To wash my sin away." 

He took her hand as an angel might, 

A dying soul to save, 
And his tears fell fast as a holy chrism, 

Anointing her for the grave — 
He kissed her brow to still her fears, 

Ere yet her eyes grew dim : 
The curse is broken, she but hears 

His pardon — sees but him. 

The damp of death is on her brow, 
The last death-strain is over now, 

The suffering soul hath fled. 
The solemn shadows slowly wane, 
And nought within the church remain 

Save Erick and the dead. 

***** 

They laid her 'neath the altar stair — 
Thus Erick gave command — 

Wrapped in her shroud of golden hair, 
The lily in her hand. 



THEKLA. 

And standing in the Holy place, 

With solemn voice he said : 
I do recall the bitter curse 

I poured upon her head. 

Let dead bells toll for the sinning soul, 

Repentant, saved, forgiven ; 
By the dread remorse of that pallid corpse, 

We feel that her sin is shriven. 
She stands before the Mercy-seat, 

If human prayers can waft her, 
And by that angel sign 'tis meet 

We trust in God's Hereafter. 



God give us grace, each in his place, 

To keep from sin and sinning : 
Our souls we sell for gifts from Hell, 

That are not worth the winning. 
False smiles that lure but to betray, 

False gold some demon flashes, 
False hopes that lead from Heaven astray, 

False fruit that turns to ashes. 



THE END. 



In 3 vols. Price 36s. 

THE FIRST TEMPTATION: 

OE, EEITIS SICUT DEUS. 

A PHILOSOPHICAL ROMANCE. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN, 

BY LADY WILDE. 



' ' The book deserves serious thought, and well will it repay that 
thought. 5 ' — Observer. 

"This is, in every respect, the most remarkable novel of our time. 
It is truly a philosophical romance, and will be thoroughly appreciated 
by the educated clergy and laity. Moreover, to the general reader 
it will be found one of the most interesting fictions ever met with." — 
Daily Post. 

"All the readers of 'Essays and Reviews' should peruse these 
volumes." — Express. 

"The object of this work is to exhibit the pernicious principles of 
Strauss and Hegel, and their followers, in their true colours, and to 
show to what termination they must lead mankind." — Neio Monthly 
Magazine. 



BEWLEY, London; and MORROW, Dublin. 



RELATED SOULS. 



By Lady Wilde. 



i. 

Lives rent wide by the rush of the ocean, 

Severed by mountains where red suna set, 
But with the magic of past emotion 

Lingering over and round them yet. 
Ever your soul shadows mine o'er leaning 

The deepest depths of my inmost thought, 
Waking again with manifold meaning 
All that your eloquent lips have taught. 
Time was not made for spirits like ours, 
Nor changing lights of the changing hours, 
For the life eternal still lies below 
The drifted leaves and the fallen snow. 



Mystical chords of our human nature 

Thrill evermore with the old delight, 
When our genius sprang to its highest stature, 
And we trod like gods the Olympian height. 
In murmurs of music the memories waken, 

Like golden strings 'neath the player's hands. 
Or as Palm3 that quiver by night winds shaken, 
Warm with the breath of the perfumed lands. 
Then philosophy lifted her torch on high 
To shew the deep things of the spirit thereby, 
And I stood in the strength your teaching gave 
As under Truth's mighty architrave, 
in. 

Koyally crowned were those moments of feeling, 

Or sad with the softness of twilight skies, 
While silent tears came mournfully stealing 
Up through the purple depths of our eyes. 
I think of you now, while the ocean is dashing 

The foam in thunder of silver spray, 
And the glittering gleams of the white oars flashing 
Die in the sunset flush of the day. 
For all that is beautiful, free, divine, 
The music that floats through the waving pine, 
The starry sky, or the infinite sea 
Speak with the breath of your spirit to me. 

IV. 

All my soul's unfulfilled aspiration, 

Fountains flowing from heavenly streams, 
Woke to the life of a new creation 

In the paradise light of your glowing dreams ; 
As the gold refined in a three-fold fire, 

As the Talith robe of the sainted dead, 
Were the pure, high ainiB of our hearts' desire, 
The words we uttered, the thoughts half said. 
We spoke of the grave with a voice unmoved, 
Of love that could die, as a thing disproved, 
And poured the rich wine and drank at our leisure 
Of the higher life without stint or measure, 
v. 

Time glided onward without our noting, 

Soft as the fall of the summer rain, 
While thoughts in starry cascades came floating 

Down from the living fount of the brain. 
Yet, better apart, without human aidance, 

I cross the river of life and fate, 
Wako me no more with that voice whose oadence 
Could lure me back from the golden gate ; 
For my spirit would answer your spirit's call 
Though life lay hidden where death-shadows fall 
And the mystic joys of the world unseen 
Be less to me than the days that have been. 

Life may be fair in that new existence 

Wh<ere saints are crowned and the saved rejoice, 
But over the depths of the infinite distance 

I'll lean and listen to hear your voice ; 
For never on Earth, though the tempest rages, 

Never in Heaven, if God be just, 
Never through all the unnumbered ages 
Can souls be parted who love and trust. 
Wait, there are worlds diviner than this. 
Worlds of splendour, of knowledge and bliss ; 
Across the death-river, the victory won, 
We shall meet in the light of a changeless sun. 



such wide power and influence in T uiund.ane affairs r* 
Among European nations, according as they are hostile of 
friendly, opinions will differ on this subject, and parties 
in each country will entertain opposite views. There is 
the military and peace policy. Have the wars in which 
he engaged advanced civilisation ? A large section in 
Italy will say, Yes ; the reply of Russian pretension w*ll 
be obvious ; England's aspect towards her ally will be 
favourable as regards the maintenance of treaties, com- 
mercial and other ; and France will recollect, now her ex- 
tended trade — a system which always developes when the 
state of affairs is staple — now the "glory " of some victory 
— a diminished population, and several disasters beside 
the final one in 1870. As long as the late Emperor 
energised during the periods of peace and war which 
varied his reign, much good naturally resulted to France and 
other countries ; but a government created in the first in- 
stance, as sustained afterwards by an army, and controlled 
by an irresponsible individual with such historic antece- 
dents, must, from its very nature, have been aggressive, and 
the peace of the world thus placed constantly at hazard. 
Neither the evil or good effected under Louis Buonaparte 
will be interred with hi3 bones ; each, as in the case of th< 
least prominent individual, will bear fruit in the future 
We hear much, and truly, of the wonderful stride whicl 
human intelligence has made, especially since the be 
ginning of tbis century ; but the presence of such vas' 
armaments all over the surface of a defensive Europe, i; 
undoubted evidence of a very slow progress, of the large 
barbario element which still attaches to civilisec 
communities ; of the clumsy method by which civilisatior 
is advanced and protected ; of the preposterous nature oi 
the national sentiment which can find a source of pride in 
such a state of things. The only class of wars which are 
justifiable are those which repel aggression ; to make any 
for the purpose of pandering to so-called "national glory," 
whieh has it* root in the prof oundest ignorance of the first 
principle of morality, is the hugest of individual or collec- 
tive orimes. Motives are, generally, in such oases, of a 
mixed character, and those who sympathise with the con- 
dition of a people oppressed by another, will applaud that 
warfor an idea— the Italian campaign. Of the motives 
which led to the disastrous attack on Germany in 1870 it 
is useless now to dwell ; apart from its deplorable conse- 
quences to the French, and even the Germans, for what 
glories of victory, or annexation of territory can compen- 
sate the thousands of families for the loss of so many 
lives? — all that, as regards France, it proves, is the child- 
like blindness with which a nation can be hurried into a 
quarrel — the absurdity, of consigning the power of 
making war to a single person, ignorant, as now appears, 
of the military disorganisation existing, and even incap- 
able, from his state of health, of conducting the insane 
impulses of a statocracy to a successful issue. At present 
the proper and only use of an army should be to protect 
the civilization we have attained, and tnat which intelli- 
gent States established in the colonies they may form in 



Take the shop-signs, each with its surmounting lantern 
and ciimson streamer. These do not as much as bear th« 
name of the proprietor, but some such titular phrase as 
" Celestial Affluence," "Perfect Success," " Overflowing 
Abundance." Yonder tavern, over which "Limitless 
Production" is inscribed in red and gilt characters, informs 
the passer-by that feasts sre prepared in both Chinese 
and Tartar fashion ; here all the delicacies of the ocean — 
sea slugs smothered in vermicelli, cooked meats, &c, are 
ready at all hours. Near hand an apothecary invites 
invalids to partake of his ' ' Pills, manufactured out of an 
entire stag, slaughtered with purity of purpose on a 
propitious day or a physician solicits confidence by 
the assurance " that the curative talent has descended 
to him through six generations." The large mansion 
with the court-yard is the Yaman, or public residence of 
a Mandarin, whose titles are various, such as "Purifier of 
Three Rivers — Protector of Twenty Cities while not 
far off the shop of a tobacconist informs the public that 



THE SOUL'S QUESTIONINGS. 

BY LADY WILDE. 

(From the Dublin University Magazine.) 



The cry of a bitter despair goeth up through tLe darkness of 

iis bt » . ,, 

A cry as from foundering ^jLIps struck down by the storm- winds 

A. cry from the souls of the death-strioken passing from life and 
light. 

Tell us, they say, in their anguish through the mist of their blinding 

tears, 

Why this doom on the race of the human must come with the coming 

years ? 

This doom of Death on the living, this cruel, remorseless Death, 
Freezing the warm life-current with the blast of his icy breath, 
Till the heart of the bravest faints with presage of peril and pain 
As a flag droops low from the mast when the clouds are heavy with 
rain 1 

Tell us, O mystic life-giver ! from the heights of thy shrouded 

throne. 

Why the light must die from our eyes, our laughter be changed to 
a groan, 

And the spirit be crushed and broken, ere the task thou hast given 
is done ? 



Tell us, O Fate the death-bringer ! whither, ! whither are we 
Drifting away on the waters of this desolate lonely sea 
Out to the fathomless gulf of Death's dark mystery ? 
Blindly driven along through the rocks and the foam and the mist, 
As a barque on the storm-tossed ocean wherever the wild winds list, 
O'ermastered by unseen forces and powers that none can resist. 
One moment of passionate life — a rush of the whirlwind and storm, 
And .then to give back to the dust the glory of soul and form, 
As the lightning dies on the mountain ere its fires enkindle or warm ! 
Baneful and bitter the burden under which our race must lie, 
This primal, changeless curse of a doom and a dread ever nigh, 
We asked not for Life — we live ; we asked not for Death — we die ! 

(Fate Answers.) 
" I see the anguish on each pallid brow, 

But what avails the pale lips' questioning now ? 
Ask not the living, ask not of the dead, 
Age upon age hath passed yet none hath said. 
No torch has lit the darkness of man's doom, 
No key unlocked the secrets of the tomb. 
Of all the myriad spirits sailing o'er 
That vast dark ocean to the unknown shore 
None ever yet returned . Ask me no more. " 



Endless the falling rain of the dead in its soundless depth, 
Have the spirits reached to the light over its measureless breadth * 
Shall we track their path through the stars where the spheral sys- 
tems move, 

And beyond the borders of death see the forms of those we love 
As gods by the great white throne, the glorified, uprisen dead, 
With a palm in the hand, a song on the lips, and a crown on the 
head ; 

Or seek through the wide unknown, with yearnings of passionate 
pain, 

For the eyes re opened in beauty, we closed in the last death 

strain ; 

Search through the infinite void, yet search for ever in vain ? 



Can this be the end of all ?— the power of beauty and birth, 
The splendours of youth and brain, the laughter and songs of 
mirth — 

A nameless thing of horror, to be hidden away in the earth ? 
Nature mute in her Temple, stony and lifeless and bound, 
Systems and suns revolving, yet never a human sound • 

The silent worlds in heaven and the silent Dead underground 

Can we not wrench the secret from the cruel, silent sky ? 

We see the dust in the churchyard, we see not the soul on high. 



Yet from the never-ending, shadowy crowd 

No voice has reached us through the muffling shroud ; 

No fair young face has risen from that sea 

With bright lips murmuring : ' Mother, come to me.' 

No spirit-hand has stretched across the gloom 

To point the way to life beyond the tomb ; 

Silent, ! silent ever is that shore, 

The dead return not. Ask of me no more." 

Yet we were glorious in beauty, we of the godlike brain, 
The thoughts we gave to the world, man's proudest treasures remain ; 
But now the dark waves cover us, we utter no word again, 
Till the world is riven asunder the temples we reared shall stand 
But as stones by the builders rejected we are fiuDg from the master's 
hand, 

We — the makers and workers, the lords over sea and land ! 
! why on our wondrous nature this shadow deadly and dim ; 
Our souls from the central earth could reach to the Infinite's riui. 
Measure the stars in their courses, weigh the worlds in a scale ; 
Yet, if this life only be given, what does it all avail ? 
Splendours, or trials, or triumphs, the joy of life or the wail ? 

No work for the artist-hand, no dream through the endless night 
Fcr the Poet whose thoughts were flame whose words were as swords 
that smite ; 

For the priesthood of Truth who carried through darkness the torch 
of light ? 

No thrones for the world's great heroes 'neath the golden dome of 
the sun, 

For the just whose witness on earth was, " Servant of God, well 
done ;" 

No knowledge or no device in the grave whereunto we go, 
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust, the only future we know, 
The dream of a heaven above, or the fear of a hell below ? 

A terror and gloom is on us, a sense of a coming fate, 

Yet we are helpless as victims, we only can weep and. wait ; 

Are we but leaves of the forest driven and drifted along, 

A minor tone in the music of nature's infinite song, 

A wraith of the tempest, cloud- woven when shuddering night : winds 

Fleeting as storm-blown spray on the ridge of the ocean wave, 
With oblivion for pall, and the wind for a dirge, and the gulf for a 
grave ? 

Tell us ! the surging waters are rising over our head, 

Tell us ! the skeleton hand is drawing us down to the dead. 

" Earth cannot answer, nor the purple sea, 
The worlds are silent on the life to be. 
No human lips have ever told the tale 
Of what may lie beyond death's sombre veil ; 
Upon that mystery God sets his seal, 
The why, the whence, the whither, none reveal. 
I look on those dark waters of the dead, 
The wrecks of glorious life are on them spread; 
Strong branches broken by the storms of night, 
Fair blossoms blighted ere their noon of light, 
Yet, not a sound is heard along the shore, 
Save weeping for the dead, that come no more." 



" The death-rain falls forever on that wave, 
The dust to dust sinks down beneath the grave,